Maldives Government and Media Profile


Maldives Government Bias

Maldives - Government and Media - Right-Center Bias - IslamicMaldives government and media country profile


Government

Government Type: Unitary State
Leader: President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Political Party: Maldivian Democratic Party
Political Position: Center Right


Press Freedom

World Press Freedom Rank: Maldives 87/180

Reporters Without Borders ranked the Maldives 87/180 in their 2022 press freedom index. Human Rights Watch praises the progress regarding media reforms made under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s government. However, HRW also points out that “much more is needed for genuine media freedom despite progress in media freedom.”

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

Maldivian Media consists of privately owned media outlets and state broadcasters. TV is the most popular medium, with Television Maldives (TVM) and Radio Dhivehi Raajjeyge Adu being widely popular state-owned public media broadcasters.

Regarding ownership, the private broadcasters are either owned by politicians or affiliated with political groups. For example, Raajje TV is the leading privately-owned pro-opposition outlet; however, the ownership information is not disclosed. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission regulates TV/Radio by issuing broadcasting and frequency licenses. The Commission consists of seven members selected by the People’s Majlis (parliament) and appointed by the President.

Privately owned print media represent a diversity of different viewpoints and typically display their political leanings. For example, privately-owned Daily Haveeru dominates the print media sector; its owner is Mohamed Zahir Hussain, a former politician. Another daily launched by the old team of Haveeru is the daily Mihaaru website. Other dailies include the Sun Media Group (Sun Online), Aafathis, and the Miadhu News.

In the Maldives, the government allocates advertising without transparency. Most public advertising goes to the two or three leading newspapers and the public (State) broadcasters. Furthermore, after taking office, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s government repealed the Anti-defamation law; however, those expressing critical views are still at risk since, in 2021, the government introduced a new bill that would pressure media outlets to reveal sources that may cause self-censorship. Due to wide criticism, the government announced that the bill would be “amended.” Human Rights Watch says, “as of March 2022, the bill had not yet been introduced.”

Despite the recent reforms, Maldives lacks press freedom as the government controls the media directly and indirectly through ownership or advertising money. State-controlled media is also prone to political interference since the government appoints its members. Privately owned news media either lacks the transparency of ownership information or is owned by former politicians.

Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check

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