South Korea is widely considered to be a consolidated democracy that has a diverse and vibrant media environment with freedom of the press guaranteed by the constitution. There are about 100 broadcasting companies and more than 4,000 domestic newspapers, including over 2,000 internet newspapers. South Korea’s press freedom improved significantly following the country’s first democratic and direct presidential election in 1987, earning the status ‘free’ from leading press freedom rating agencies in the early 2000s. Political meddling, national security limitations on free speech and abuse of criminal defamation are considered some of the major problems that challenge press freedom in South Korea. The division with North Korea and subsequent security concerns, as well as ideological divides within South Korean society, pose unique challenges to press freedom in the country. Despite these problems, South Korean media organizations and journalists largely enjoy freedom to practice journalism.