More varied, more independent media
Although media pluralism and funding are limited by this small archipelago’s size and population, the media, especially the privately-owned media, have managed to develop in recent years. The self-censorship reflexes inherited from decades of communist single-party rule and close control of the media are gradually dissipating and giving way to a broader range of opinion and more editorial freedom. The public media are increasingly freeing themselves from the state’s previously tight grip on their editorial policies and no longer hesitate to criticise the government or address subjects such as corruption and nepotism. The opposition candidate’s historic victory in the October 2020 presidential election, after more than four decades in which this position was always held by members of the former single-party system’s party, does not seem to have affected the significant progress in press freedom that has been achieved in recent years. No media outlet is barred from the press conferences that the new president gives, like his predecessor. For some time now, no journalist has been the target of abuse. The threats come mainly from laws with provisions that can obstruct reporting, such as the access to information law adopted in 2018, which has many exemptions freeing public officials from any obligation to provide information when national security or the country’s economic model is concerned. Penalties are rarely imposed on the media but when they are they can be heavy, as in 2020, when a newspaper was ordered to pay more than 23,000 euros in damages in a defamation case for an article written in 2016.
63 in 2020
28.66 in 2020