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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  2015
Democracy Rank 2015
Norway
1
4
Sweden 1 3
Netherlands 3 6
Finland 3 2
Belgium 3 8
Denmark 6 1
Switzerland 7 5
Ireland 8 11
Estonia 8 14
Jamaica 10 38
Costa Rica 10 22
Germany 12 10
Portugal 12 20
Canada 12 9
New Zealand 15 6
Czech Republic 16 27
United States 17 15
Austria 17 17
Australia 17 11
France 20 19
United Kingdom 21 13
Slovakia 21 28
Uruguay 21 18
Lithuania 24 24
Slovenia 24 24
Japan 24 16
Poland 27 23
Trinidad and Tobago 28 42
Taiwan 28 30
Latvia 30 36
Spain 30 26
Ghana 30 33
Papua New Guinea 33 74
Mauritius 34 32
Israel 34 31
Chile 36 21
Italy 36 29
Namibia 38 41
Korea, South 38 37
South Africa 40 43
Hungary 40 40
Mongolia 40 35
Mali 40 75
Benin 44 46
Bulgaria 44 44
El Salvador 46 50
Serbia & Montenegro 47 46
India 47 51
Croatia 47 34
Dominican Republic 50 58
Romania 50 46
Botswana 52 39
Burkina Faso 52 76
Philippines 52 54
Mozambique 52 79
Brazil 56 51
Peru 57 57
Bolivia 57 59
Lesotho 59 46
Georgia 59 45
Senegal 59 53
Tunisia 59 55
Albania 63 63
Indonesia 63 62
Panama 63 59
Malawi 63 82
Mauritania 67 86
Sierra Leone 67 65
Haiti 67 103
Greece 70 55
Bosnia and Herzegovina 70 78
Argentina 70 64
Niger 70 82
Nicaragua 74 90
Nigeria 75 94
Cote d'Ivoire 75 88
Bangladesh 77 100
Tanzania 77 67
Lebanon 79 98
Moldova 79 66
Colombia 79 85
Nepal 79 94
Uganda 83 101
Kenya 84 105
Macedonia 85 61
Ukraine 85 70
Congo, Republic of the 87 109
Bhutan 87 73
Kuwait 87 81
Paraguay 87 71
Madagascar 87 103
Guinea-Bissau 87 117
Liberia 93 89
Guatemala 93 98
Algeria 95 93
Armenia 95 90
Zambia 97 90
Togo 97 106
Mexico 99 68
Ecuador 100 69
Guinea 100 114
Pakistan 102 109
Malaysia 102 79
Turkey 102 86
Cameroon 105 114
Morocco 105 97
Jordan 105 84
Afghanistan 108 130
Kyrgyzstan 108 117
Singapore 108 72
Honduras 111 114
Cambodia 112 120
Angola 113 125
Gabon 113 106
Zimbabwe 113 122
Oman 116 94
Iraq 117 133
Central African Republic 117 120
Libya 119 130
Egypt 119 109
Myanmar 119 126
Burundi 122 129
Chad 122 126
Thailand 124 112
United Arab Emirates 125 76
Sri Lanka 125 113
Yemen 127 138
Rwanda 128 101
Dem. Rep. of the Congo 128 133
Somalia 128 146
Venezuela 131 141
Sudan 131 144
Gambia, The 131 126
Tajikistan 134 138
Russia 135 133
Ethiopia 135 123
Saudi Arabia 135 108
Laos 138 138
Kazakhstan 139 133
China 140 123
Vietnam 140 130
Azerbaijan 142 137
Syria 143 144
Iran 143 143
Cuba 145 119
Belarus 146 141
Eritrea 147 147
Uzbekistan 148 148
Turkmenistan 148 149
Korea, North 150 150

 


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
120 Wall Street
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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