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Freedom House reports on press freedom in 192 countries

Complete Report (231KB PDF)

 


Beneath this are the Press Freedom rankings for 150 countries with populations in excess of 1 million. The methodology used by the authors, Freedom House, is given in the right hand column.

 
Country
Press Freedom Rank  2013 Democracy Rank 2013
Norway 1 4
Sweden 1 1
Finland 3 3
Belgium 3 8
Netherlands 3 7
Switzerland 6 6
Denmark 6 1
New Zealand 8 5
Ireland 8 12
Estonia 8 15
Portugal 11 19
Germany 11 10
United States 13 13
Jamaica 13 40
Costa Rica 13 21
Czech Republic 16 26
Canada 17 10
United Kingdom 18 13
Austria 18 17
Australia 18 9
Slovakia 21 27
France 21 16
Lithuania 23 23
Japan 23 28
Slovenia 23 23
Trinidad and Tobago 26 42
Taiwan 26 29
Poland 26 22
Uruguay 26 18
Spain 30 25
Papua New Guinea 31 73
Latvia 31 38
Ghana 31 33
Mauritius 34 32
Chile 35 20
Israel 35 30
Korea, South 35 31
Namibia 35 41
Italy 39 43
Benin 40 47
South Africa 41 44
Hungary 42 33
Serbia & Montenegro 42 45
Bulgaria 44 46
Mongolia 44 36
India 46 52
Dominican Republic 47 58
Croatia 47 35
Botswana 49 39
Greece 49 51
El Salvador 49 53
Burkina Faso 52 74
Romania 52 48
Mozambique 52 78
Philippines 55 56
Peru 55 55
Brazil 57 54
Mauritania 58 83
Panama 59 37
Bolivia 59 61
Bosnia and Herzegovina 61 56
Lesotho 61 49
Haiti 61 103
Albania 61 63
Indonesia 61 62
Sierra Leone 61 67
Georgia 61 49
Niger 68 80
Nicaragua 69 89
Tanzania 69 63
Nigeria 69 94
Argentina 72 63
Senegal 72 58
Tunisia 72 77
Lebanon 75 91
Kenya 75 94
Bangladesh 75 94
Malawi 75 80
Moldova 75 63
Colombia 75 83
Uganda 81 101
Macedonia 82 60
Turkey 82 76
Congo, Republic of the 82 97
Liberia 82 85
Bhutan 86 72
Nepal 86 97
Kuwait 88 80
Guatemala 88 103
Libya 88 119
Ukraine 91 106
Zambia 91 88
Ecuador 93 68
Paraguay 93 70
Armenia 93 91
Mexico 93 69
Algeria 93 91
Cote d'Ivoire 93 106
Guinea 99 113
Honduras 99 108
Central African Republic 99 110
Thailand 99 97
Egypt 99 103
Pakistan 104 108
Jordan 104 85
Malaysia 104 79
Guinea-Bissau 107 122
Cambodia 108 122
Madagascar 108 113
Cameroon 108 116
Morocco 108 101
Iraq 112 126
Singapore 112 71
Afghanistan 112 139
Angola 115 120
Kyrgyzstan 116 120
Togo 117 116
Gabon 118 110
Oman 118 90
Burundi 120 126
Myanmar 120 126
United Arab Emirates 122 75
Sri Lanka 122 110
Chad 124 135
Venezuela 124 133
Zimbabwe 126 133
Tajikistan 127 135
Yemen 127 140
Sudan 129 144
Rwanda 129 97
Russia 131 129
Ethiopia 132 125
Azerbaijan 132 131
Gambia, The 134 132
Dem. Rep. of the Congo 134 140
China 134 118
Kazakhstan 137 137
Saudi Arabia 137 113
Vietnam 137 129
Somalia 137 147
Laos 137 137
Syria 142 145
Mali 143 85
Iran 144 143
Cuba 144 122
Belarus 146 142
Eritrea 147 146
Uzbekistan 148 148
Turkmenistan 149 149
Korea, North 149 150

 


This survey of 194 countries and territories expands a process conducted since 1980 by Freedom House. The findings are widely used by governments and international organizations, academics, and the news media in many countries. The degree to which each country permits the free flow of information determines the classification of its media as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.” Countries scoring 0 to 30 are regarded as having “Free” media, 31 to 60, “Partly Free” media, and 61 to 100, “Not Free” media. The criteria for such judgments and the arithmetic scheme for displaying the judgments are described below. Assigning numerical points allows for comparative analysis among the countries surveyed as well as facilitating an examination of trends over time.

The Criteria: This study is based on universal criteria. The starting point is the smallest, most universal unit of concern: the individual. We recognize cultural differences, diverse national interests, and varying levels of economic development. Yet the Universal Declaration of Human Rights instructs: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers (Article 19).
  The operative word for this survey is everyone. All states, from the most democratic to the most authoritarian, are committed to this doctrine through the United Nations system. To deny that doctrine is to deny the universality of information freedom—a basic human right. We recognize that cultural distinctions or economic underdevelopment may limit the volume of news flows within a country, but these and other arguments are not acceptable explanations for outright centralized control of the content of news and information. Some poor countries allow for the exchange of diverse views, while some developed countries restrict content diversity. We seek to recognize press freedom wherever it exists, in poor and rich countries, as well as in countries of various ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
  The operative word for this survey is everyone. All states, from the most democratic to the most authoritarian, are committed to this doctrine through the United Nations system. To deny that doctrine is to deny the universality of information freedom—a basic human right. We recognize that cultural distinctions or economic underdevelopment may limit the volume of news flows within a country, but these and other arguments are not acceptable explanations for outright centralized control of the content of news and information. Some poor countries allow for the exchange of diverse views, while some developed countries restrict content diversity. We seek to recognize press freedom wherever it exists, in poor and rich countries, as well as in countries of various ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

Our sources: Our data come from correspondents overseas, staff travel, international visitors, the findings of human rights and press freedom organizations, specialists in geographic and geopolitical areas, the reports of governments and multilateral bodies, and a variety of domestic and international news media. We would particularly like to thank other members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) network for providing detailed and timely analyses of press freedom violations in a variety of countries worldwide.

The methodology: Through the years, we have refined and expanded our methodology.  Recent changes to our methodology are intended to simplify the presentation of information without altering the comparability of data for a given country over the 25-year span, or of the comparative ratings of all countries over that period.
  Our examination of the level of press freedom in each country is divided into three broad categories: the legal environment, the political environment, and the economic environment.  The legal environment encompasses both an examination of the laws and regulations that could influence media content as well as the government’s inclination to use these laws and legal institutions in order to restrict the media’s ability to operate. We assess the positive impact of legal and constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression; the potentially negative aspects of security legislation, the penal code and other criminal statutes; penalties for libel and defamation; the existence of and ability to use Freedom of Information legislation; the independence of the judiciary and of official media regulatory bodies; registration requirements for both media outlets and journalists; and the ability of journalists’ groups to operate freely.
  Under the category of political environment, we evaluate the degree of political control over the content of news media. Issues examined in this category include the editorial independence of both the state-owned and privately-owned media; access to information and sources; official censorship and self-censorship; the vibrancy of the media; the ability of both foreign and local reporters to cover the news freely and without harassment; and the intimidation of journalists by the state or other actors, including arbitrary detention and imprisonment, violent assaults, and other threats.
  Our third category examines the economic environment for the media. This includes the structure of media ownership; transparency and concentration of ownership; the costs of establishing media as well as of production and distribution; the selective withholding of advertising or subsidies by the state or other actors; the impact of corruption and bribery on content; and the extent to which the economic situation in a country impacts the development of the media.

The numbers: Each country is rated in three categories, with the higher number being the least free. A country’s total score is based on the total of the three categories: a score of 0-30 places the country in the free-press group, 31-60 in partly- free, and 61-100 in the not free-press group.

LEGEND

Country

Status: Free (0-30)/Partly Free (31-60)/Not Free (61-100)
Legal Environment: 0-30 points
Political Environment: 0-40 points
Economic Environment: 0-30 points
Total Score: 0-100 points

Method and criteria courtesy of Freedom House.
Contact Details for Freedom House
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26th Floor
New York N.Y. 10005
Tel (212)514-8040
Fax (212)514-8050
1319 18th Street NW
Washington DC 20036
Tel (202) 296-5101
Fax (202) 296-5078
www.freedomhouse.org
fh@freedomhouse.org



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