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Reporters Without Borders releases 2016 World Press Freedom Index

Every year since since 2002, Reporters Without Borders has published the World Press Freedom Index.

The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.

It doesn’t rank the public policies or quality of journalism in the countries.

The degree of freedom available to journalists is determined by pooling the responses of experts to an 87-question survey.

The questions are about pluralism, media independence, media environment, self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

The questions are translated into 20 languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Indonesian, and Korean.

Reporters Without Borders is based in Paris. It’s also known as Reporters sans frontières or RSF.

RSF is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the International Organization of the Francophonie.

It has bureaus in ten cities, including Brussels, Washington, Berlin, Tunis, Rio de Janeiro, and Stockholm.

“A team of in-house specialists, each assigned to a different geographical region, keeps a detailed tally of abuses and violence against journalists and media outlets,” RSF said.

The researchers also rely on a network of correspondents in 130 countries.

Here are the top ten and bottom ten countries on the 2016 World Freedom Press Freedom Index, and some of the countries in between. Their rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index is in parentheses.

1    Finland (2)
2    Netherlands (5)
3    Norway (5)
4    Denmark (1)
5    New Zealand (4)
6    Costa Rica (40)
7    Switzerland (7)
8    Sweden (3)
9    Ireland (18)
10  Jamaica (69)

18  Canada (9)

38  United Kingdom (10)

41  United States (16)

70  South Korea (37)

95  Kenya (139)

104 Brazil (76)

130 Indonesia (88)

139 Venezuela (158)

146 Malaysia (54)

148 Russia (119)
149 Mexico (95)

154 Singapore (8)

171  Cuba (56)
172  Djibouti (99)
173  Laos (139)
174  Sudan (165)
175  Vietnam (112)
176  China (83)
177  Syria (154)
178  Turkmenistan (154)
179  North Korea (167)
180  Eritrea (154)

The full 2016 World Freedom Press Freedom Index is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016.

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