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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  2014 Democracy Rank 2014
Norway

1

4
Sweden 1 3
Netherlands 1 6
Finland 4 2
Belgium 4 8
Switzerland 6 5
Denmark 6 1
Ireland 8 11
Estonia 8 14
Germany 10 9
Jamaica 10 40
Portugal 12 20
New Zealand 12 6
Costa Rica 12 22
Canada 15 9
Czech Republic 16 27
United States 17 14
Austria 17 16
Australia 19 11
France 19 18
United Kingdom 21 13
Slovakia 21 28
Lithuania 23 23
Slovenia 23 23
Japan 25 16
Trinidad and Tobago 25 42
Taiwan 27 30
Uruguay 27 18
Latvia 29 37
Poland 29 23
Spain 31 26
Ghana 31 33
Papua New Guinea 33 54
Mauritius 34 32
Israel 34 31
Chile 36 21
Namibia 36 41
Italy 36 29
Korea, South 39 38
South Africa 40 43
Hungary 41 34
Benin 42 47
Serbia & Montenegro 43 45
Mongolia 43 36
Mali 43 75
Bulgaria 46 45
El Salvador 46 50
India 46 51
Croatia 49 35
Dominican Republic 50 58
Botswana 50 39
Romania 50 48
Burkina Faso 53 76
Philippines 53 56
Peru 53 56
Mozambique 56 79
Brazil 56 52
Greece 58 53
Lesotho 59 48
Georgia 59 44
Mauritania 61 84
Bolivia 61 61
Senegal 61 55
Albania 64 65
Indonesia 64 64
Sierra Leone 64 67
Panama 67 61
Bosnia and Herzegovina 67 59
Haiti 67 102
Nigeria 70 91
Argentina 70 66
Malawi 70 84
Niger 73 81
Nicaragua 73 91
Tunisia 75 61
Lebanon 75 94
Moldova 75 67
Bangladesh 78 100
Colombia 78 81
Tanzania 80 69
Nepal 80 94
Cote d'Ivoire 80 88
Kenya 83 104
Macedonia 83 60
Congo, Republic of the 83 107
Uganda 86 104
Liberia 86 87
Bhutan 88 74
Kuwait 88 80
Paraguay 88 72
Algeria 88 88
Guatemala 92 99
Zambia 93 88
Mexico 93 70
Ecuador 95 71
Libya 95 118
Turkey 95 81
Armenia 95 93
Ukraine 99 113
Madagascar 99 109
Guinea 101 115
Honduras 101 109
Thailand 101 94
Pakistan 101 109
Malaysia 101 78
Togo 106 112
Cambodia 107 120
Cameroon 107 115
Morocco 107 98
Afghanistan 107 131
Kyrgyzstan 107 115
Guinea-Bissau 112 121
Singapore 112 73
Egypt 114 102
Jordan 114 86
Iraq 116 127
Angola 116 125
Gabon 118 106
Myanmar 118 124
Oman 120 94
Zimbabwe 121 126
Burundi 122 131
Chad 123 127
United Arab Emirates 124 76
Sri Lanka 124 114
Yemen 124 138
Central African Republic 127 127
Venezuela 128 140
Rwanda 129 101
Dem. Rep. of the Congo 129 136
Tajikistan 131 138
Sudan 132 145
Russia 132 131
Ethiopia 132 121
Somalia 135 146
Saudi Arabia 136 107
Gambia, The 136 131
Azerbaijan 138 135
China 138 121
Laos 138 140
Vietnam 138 127
Kazakhstan 142 136
Syria 143 144
Iran 144 143
Cuba 144 118
Belarus 146 142
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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