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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 154 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  2016
Democracy Rank 2016
Norway 1 3
Sweden 2 3
Netherlands 2 5
Finland 2 1
Belgium 2 8
Denmark 6 1
Switzerland 7 6
Estonia 8 14
Ireland 9 11
Costa Rica 9 22
Jamaica 11 38
Portugal 11 19
Canada 11 9
Germany 14 10
New Zealand 14 7
Czech Republic 16 26
United States 16 16
Australia 18 12
Austria 18 15
Lithuania 18 22
Slovenia 18 24
Slovakia 22 29
Cyprus 22 24
United Kingdom 24 12
Uruguay 24 16
Japan 26 16
Taiwan 26 31
Trinidad and Tobago 28 42
France 29 20
Poland 29 27
Latvia 29 37
Spain 29 28
Papua New Guinea 33 75
Mauritius 33 33
Chile 33 21
Ghana 36 34
Italy 36 30
Israel 38 32
Namibia 39 40
Korea, South 39 38
South Africa 41 44
Mongolia 42 36
Mali 42 73
Benin 44 49
Romania 44 44
El Salvador 46 48
Hungary 47 43
Bulgaria 47 47
India 49 51
Burkina Faso 49 74
Croatia 51 35
Dominican Republic 51 57
Philippines 53 57
Serbia & Montenegro 54 52
Botswana 54 41
Malawi 54 61
Mozambique 57 80
Brazil 57 56
Peru 57 59
Panama 57 55
Greece 61 50
Bolivia 62 63
Lesotho 62 52
Georgia 62 46
Senegal 62 52
Indonesia 62 60
Kosovo 62 81
Bosnia and Herzegovina 68 78
Argentina 68 65
Albania 70 63
Mauritania 70 86
Nigeria 70 90
Cote d'Ivoire 70 83
Tunisia 74 61
Haiti 74 110
Sierra Leone 76 67
Niger 76 83
Ukraine 76 68
Nicaragua 79 95
Nepal 79 95
Tanzania 81 90
Lebanon 82 98
Moldova 82 66
Colombia 82 83
Uganda 85 105
Kenya 86 106
Paraguay 86 70
Madagascar 86 102
Liberia 86 88
Guatemala 86 102
Congo, Republic of the 91 111
Kuwait 91 77
Guinea-Bissau 93 120
Togo 93 98
Bangladesh 95 111
Zambia 95 89
Macedonia 97 86
Algeria 97 93
Afghanistan 97 127
Armenia 100 98
Mexico 101 69
Pakistan 101 107
Sri Lanka 101 95
Cameroon 104 115
Guinea 104 118
Ecuador 106 71
Morocco 106 102
Jordan 106 79
South Sudan 106 127
Malaysia 110 82
Kyrgyzstan 110 116
Singapore 110 72
Honduras 110 111
Gabon 114 107
Cambodia 115 124
Qatar 115 122
Angola 117 135
Turkey 117 101
Oman 117 93
Iraq 117 134
Central African Republic 117 122
Myanmar 122 127
Zimbabwe 123 131
Chad 123 130
Libya 125 139
Egypt 126 119
Thailand 126 116
United Arab Emirates 128 76
Dem. Rep. of the Congo 128 135
Rwanda 130 90
Somalia 130 148
Burundi 132 139
Venezuela 132 145
Yemen 134 147
Tajikistan 134 138
Russia 134 132
Ethiopia 134 125
Laos 138 139
Kazakhstan 138 135
Sudan 140 150
Vietnam 140 132
Saudi Arabia 142 107
Gambia, The 143 139
China 143 125
Bahrain 143 111
Azerbaijan 146 144
Syria 147 149
Iran 147 145
Cuba 149 121
Belarus 149 139
Eritrea 151 151
Uzbekistan 152 151
Turkmenistan 153 149
Korea, North 154 154

 


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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