Defamation proceedings and self-censorship
Mongolia’s TV channels replaced their normal programming with blank screens on April 26, 2017 in protest of plans to increase the penalties for defamation ahead of a presidential election. More than half of the defamation cases in Mongolia are brought against journalists and media outlets, pushing them to censor themselves. The overall environment for the media has improved in recent years, especially as a result of the state media’s transformation from government mouthpieces into a public service. But media ownership is very concentrated and most media are affiliated with political parties, holding back the emergence of independent media. Whether state or privately-owned, the media are under pressure from politicians, and their ability to act as a watchdog is limited by the government’s lack of transparency and its susceptibility to criticism.
69 in 2017
28.95 in 2017