Status: Free
Legal Environment: 7 (of 30)
Political Environment: 13 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 10 (of 30)
Total Score: 30 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

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

  • The constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and media are generally allowed to operate without interference.

  • Legislation to facilitate the distribution of private radio licenses has yet to be introduced.

  • As of year's end, there was no freedom of information law, though President Bharrat Jagdeo has promised that a bill would be introduced in early 2009.

  • On April 11, the government suspended the license of the independent television station Channel 6 for four months after it aired a vague threat against the president by a caller during a talk show. The host immediately condemned the caller's remarks, but the government argued that the station was inciting violence.

  • The government has refused to respond to multiple television license applications for Region 10, and has continued to refuse the approval of similar long-standing requests for private radio frequency authorizations. As a result, government-owned radio stations are the only media capable of reaching the whole country.

  • There were no murders of or attacks on journalists in 2008.

  • In July, the government withdrew accreditation to cover the president's office from Gordon Moseley, a television journalist for Capital News in Georgetown. He was accused of making "disparaging and disrespectful" statements about the president.

  • Guyana has six national newspapers and a number of other periodicals.

  • The government maintains a long-established radio monopoly, operating the country's only two stations. There are also three television stations – one state owned and two privately owned.

  • In January, the Stabroek News ended its campaign against the government's September 2007 decision to no longer advertise in the paper. The government then ended its boycott in March.

  • Use of the internet is not restricted by the government, and approximately 24.6 percent of the population had access in 2008.

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.