Television: state-owned, single-channel TV service; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available; cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2007).
The Gambia is not individually classified by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), but is classified as engaged in selective Internet filtering based on the limited descriptions in the ONI 2009 profile for the sub-Saharan Africa region.
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority. Individuals and groups can generally engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. However, Internet users reported they could not access the Web sites of foreign online newspapers Freedom, The Gambia Echo, Hellogambia, and Jollofnews, which criticized the government.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press; however, the government restricted these rights. According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, "the environment for independent and opposition media remained hostile, with numerous obstacles to freedom of expression, including administrative hurdles, arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation and judicial harassment against journalists, and the closure of media outlets, leading to self-censorship." Individuals who publicly or privately criticized the government or the president risked government reprisal. In March 2011 President Jammeh warned independent journalists that he would “not compromise or sacrifice the peace, security, stability, dignity, and the well being of Gambians for the sake of freedom of expression.” Accusing some journalists of being the “mouthpiece of opposition parties,” he vowed to prosecute any journalist who offended him. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was involved in arbitrary closure of media outlets and the extrajudicial detention of journalists.
In 2007 a Gambian journalist living in the US was convicted of sedition for an article published online; she was fined USD12,000; in 2006 the Gambian police ordered all subscribers to an online independent newspaper to report to the police or face arrest.
The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, but the government does not respect these prohibitions. Observers believe the government monitors citizens engaged in activities that it deems objectionable.