Problem

Lack of press freedom

Other Names:
Denial of right to freedom of the press
Nature:

Silence of the press enforced by death, threat and legal sanction is common around the world.

Incidence:

The following accounts and statistics were reported for 1992.

[America] Fewer journalists were killed in Latin America as authoritarian regimes gave way to multi-party systems and as civil wars in Central America came to an end. Some of the new governments reacted in response to critical reviews or what they perceived as social crises: the Colombian government imposed blanket restriction on coverage of "violence"; officials in Argentina, Bolivia and Panama punished reporters who wrote about corruption; governments assumed wide powers to control the media during the president's "self-coup" in Peru, and two attempted military takeovers in Venezuela. Guatemala and Haiti remain dangerous places to offend powerful people. A newspaper editor in the USA was gunned down in New York City by drug dealers and money-launderers whose activities had been exposed.

[Africa] Democratization has greatly improved press conditions in many parts of Africa, where new constitutions guarantee political rights, and opposition parties have been legalized and have participated in national elections. Three years ago, 31 journalists were held prisoner in Africa; in 1992, there are only six. Reporting the truth in South Africa has always been difficult. The National Party that ruled for more than 40 years enacted more than 100 laws curbing the press. The ANC, Inkatha and the Pan African Congress all reportedly keep files on coverage they receive from individual journalists. Paul Biya of Cameroon, Daniel arap Moi of Kenya and President Secular regimes, such as those in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, use the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as an excuse for clamping down on the press. The media in Syria and Iraq remain totally under government control. Gnasingbe Eyadema of Toga all launched attacks on journalists and news outlets that criticized them. Secular regimes, such as those in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, use the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as an excuse for clamping down on the press. The media in Syria and Iraq remain totally under government control.

[Asia] In India, journalists are beaten by police when they cover opposition rallies and attacked by militants if their coverage is not sufficiently supportive. Elsewhere in Asia, in regimes like Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and North Korea, rigid information control is practised to such as degree that information on press restrictions is hard to confirm. Several Thai newspapers defied military orders to close. China continues to imprison more journalists than in any other country. Self-censorship is already on the rise in the Hong Kong press, as editors and publishers grow increasingly wary of offending China. In Israel, constraints have been loosened on the government-owned broadcast media, but in the Occupied Territories, journalists were deported, censored, beaten and harassed by soldiers. The press in Lebanon has fended off government efforts to impose controls, mainly because each of the factions, parties and militias represented in the coalition government had their own outlets to protect, but this is likely to end. The hereditary kingdom of Kuwait and the secular Ba'ath government of Syria rank number two and three in numbers of journalists held in prison in 1992.

Related Problems:
Underground press
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
14.03.2020 – 17:47 CET