Cyprus Political Orientation
Government Type: Republic with a Presidental System of Government
Chief of State and Head of Government: President Nikos Christodoulides
Political Party: Independent Coalition
Political Position: Center
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 80.31 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank: Cyprus 55/180
According to Reporters Without Borders, although The Constitution of Cyprus guarantees freedom of speech, “political parties, the Orthodox Church, and commercial interests all exercise a great deal of influence over the media.” In addition, they note that “Defamation is still criminalized.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Cyprus is an island divided between Turks and Greeks. The northern third is run by a Turkish Cypriot government, and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots. Only the southern part is recognized internationally.
Cyprus Media consists of corporately and state-owned media outlets. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC ) (In Greek: ΡΙΚ, Turkish: KRYK) is a state-funded broadcasting organization. It operates four radio and two domestic television channels. It is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of nine members, who the Council of Ministers appoints for a three-year term of service.
Besides Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), the state owns and controls the Cyprus News Agency. Despite the high ranking from the Reporters Without Borders freedom index (26/180) and Freedom House (94/100 Free), most media avoids criticism of certain areas of Government policy. This is true for both sides (Turkish and Greek sides of the island). Furthermore, transparency of media ownership is also a problem, especially for print media which are not obligated to disclose ownership.
There are also privately-owned radio and TV stations and print media. These are Radio Proto – Radio Astra, ANT1, Mega TV, Sigma TV, Lumiere TV and (northern Turkish Cyprus) Bayrak RadioTV, BRT (1 & 2), Kanal T, Genc TV, Kibris TV, SIM TV, ADA TV. The major Greek language newspapers are Phileleftheros, Politis, Kathimerini, Alithia, Simerini, and Turkish-language Kibris Gazete (northern Cyprus).
In conclusion, the Cypriot government has indirect control over the media outlets, especially state-funded outlets that may self-censor to align with the government. Corporate ownership directly influences the media’s editorial stances to sustain market viability. In general, Cyprus enjoys a mostly free press, but there are limitations as described above.
Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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