In the country's underdeveloped economic environment, the majority of media outlets remain dependent on the state, political parties, or international donors for financial support.
However, in September 2004 the first independent radio station supported entirely by private sector funds was inaugurated in Ghazni province.
Press freedom advocates in 2006 continued to urge the government to decriminalize defamation, which could incur a maximum sentence of two years in prison under existing statutes.
Although the parliament failed to act on draft amendments introduced in 2005, Prime Minister Sali Berisha in October of that year ordered government officials to use the right of reply rather than civil or criminal defamation suits to address perceived bias or inaccuracy in the media. The prospects for legal reform improved in June, when Albania signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.
National and local governments continue to own or control several dozen newspapers and almost all of the electronic media, and reporting at these news outlets is generally balanced.
International radio broadcasts in Dari or Pashto, such the BBC, VOA, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Afghanistan, remain a key source of information for many Afghans.
Back to Top Algeria Not Free LE: 22 PE: 23 EE: 17 Total Score: 62 According to Algerias constitution, press freedom is a guaranteed right, but this has not stopped authorities from using legal and extralegal methods to harass the independent press.
The laws were amended in 2001 to criminalize defamation of the president, the parliament, the judiciary, and the military.
Nasab was released in December, but the case is considered to have had a chilling effect on press freedom, with an accompanying rise in self-censorship.
Media diversity and freedom is markedly higher in Kabul, and some warlords display limited tolerance for independent media in the areas under their control.
A number of journalists were threatened or harassed by government ministers, politicians, and others in positions of power as a result of their reporting.
However, it retains broad restrictions on content that is "contrary to the principles of Islam or offensive to other religions and sects" and "matters leading to dishonoring and defaming individuals." The legislation also establishes a government-appointed commission with the power to decide if journalists who contravene the law should face court prosecutions or fines.
Critics of the law have alleged that its prohibition of "anti-Islamic" writings is overly vague and has led to considerable confusion within the journalistic community on what constitutes permissible content.