Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 15 (of 30)
Political Environment: 22 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 15 (of 30)
Total Score: 52 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

Covers events that took place between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2008.

  • Guinea-Bissau faced significant setbacks in 2007 in its efforts to protect media freedoms and build on previous gains in reestablishing civil and political order, but there were improvements on a number of fronts in 2008.

  • Legislation passed in 2005 provides for freedom of speech and the press. The government, however, has not consistently respected these legal guarantees.

  • Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports of death threats against journalists attempting to cover the presence of international drug cartels in Guinea-Bissau. However, the lack of explicit intimidation may reflect pervasive self-censorship rather than an improvement in media freedom. There were no reported arrests of journalists or closures of radio stations.

  • Harassment of media workers continued throughout 2008. The directors of two private newspapers, Atizar Mendes Pereira of Ultima Hora and Fafali Koudawo of Kansare, were briefly detained and interrogated over articles that were critical of the army's chief of staff. The 2007 case against Reuters journalist Alberto Dabo – who was charged with defamation, abuse of freedom of the press, violating state secrets, and slander – was pending at year's end.

  • The country's only television station is state run. Three private radio stations compete with the state-run radio broadcaster and the Portuguese-owned public broadcaster.

  • Three privately run newspapers operate alongside the state-owned weekly.

  • The national printing press is the sole printing plant in the country.

  • No government interference with or attempts to censor the internet were reported in 2008, and 2.5 percent of the population had access to the medium.

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