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Freedom of Press Around the World

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World Map Showing Freedom of the Press by Country
The World Map Depicts How Nations Fare on the World Press Freedom Index 2017

 

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A free press is an essential pillar of democracy. For democracy to function properly, it is essential that people are kept informed about the domestic and the international events. It is only through information that people would be able to form rational opinions. In many nations around the world, media has also played a pivotal role in informing people about the various social and economic evils that are haunting their nations. Though democratic nations emphasize on the importance of the freedom of the press, in totalitarian or dictatorial regimes, press is usually suppressed.

Reporters Without Borders annually publishes the World Press Freedom Index, which access the press freedom records of individual nations. The report not only reflects the freedom that journalists as well as news organizations have in each nation but also what role is being played by the respective governments in respecting their freedom. Countries score between 0 to 100, which means that 0 is the best score while 100 is the worst.

According to the World Press Freedom Index 2017, Norway is the best country when it comes to the freedom of the press. The nation was placed at the top with a score of 7.6. Sweden was the second best country with a score of 8.27, while Finland at the third spot scored 8.92. Journalists and media organizations enjoyed a great deal of freedom in Denmark and the Netherlands which were at the fourth and fifth spot and had scores of 10.36 and 11.28. Some other countries, which were good examples of the press freedom and scored less than 20 were Switzerland, Belgium, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Ghana, Namibia, Canada and a few others.

Countries such as France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Romania, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Poland, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and many other nations scored between 20 and 40. Among the BRICS nations, press in South Africa enjoyed a great deal of freedom. The nation scored 20.12. The lowest ranked among BRICS nations was China with a score of 77.66.

The countries that are ranked worst in the World Freedom Press Index 2017 are Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea. All these nations scored more than 80.

For a better understanding of how each nation has scored on the World Freedom Press Index, refer to the table below.

Country Scores
Norway 7.6
Sweden 8.27
Finland 8.92
Denmark 10.36
Netherlands 11.28
Costa Rica 11.93
Switzerland 12.13
Jamaica 12.73
Belgium 12.75
Iceland 13.03
Austria 13.47
Estonia 13.55
New Zealand 13.98
Ireland 14.08
Luxembourg 14.72
Germany 14.97
Slovakia 15.51
Portugal 15.77
Australia 16.02
Surinam 16.07
Samoa 16.41
Canada 16.53
Czech Republic 16.91
Namibia 17.08
Uruguay 17.43
Ghana 17.95
Cabo Verde 18.02
Latvia 18.62
Spain 18.69
Cyprus 19.79
South Africa 20.12
Liechtenstein 20.31
Chile 20.53
Trinidad and Tobago 20.62
Andorra 21.03
Lithuania 21.37
Slovenia 21.7
OECS 22.1
France 22.24
United Kingdom 22.26
Belize 23.43
Burkina Faso 23.85
United States 23.88
Comores 24.33
Taiwan 24.37
Romania 24.46
Malta 24.76
Botswana 24.93
Tonga 24.97
Argentina 25.07
Papua New Guinea 25.07
Italy 26.26
Haïti 26.36
Poland 26.47
Mauritania 26.49
Mauritius 26.67
Madagascar 26.71
Senegal 26.72
Dominican Republic 26.76
Guyana 26.8
Niger 27.21
El Salvador 27.24
South Korea 27.61
Georgia 27.76
Bosnia-Herzegovina 27.83
Serbia 28.05
Fiji 28.64
Lesotho 28.78
Mongolia 28.95
Malawi 28.97
Hungary 29.01
Japan 29.44
Hong Kong 29.46
Croatia 29.59
Northern Cyprus 29.88
Albania 29.92
Guinea Bissau 30.09
Benin 30.32
Armenia 30.38
Moldova 30.41
Côte d’Ivoire 30.42
Kosovo 30.45
Tanzania 30.65
Bhutan 30.73
Sierra Leone 30.73
Togo 30.75
Seychelles 30.86
Greece 30.89
Kyrgyzstan 30.92
Peru 30.98
Israel 31.01
Nicaragua 31.01
Mozambique 31.05
Liberia 31.12
Kenya 31.2
Panama 32.12
Tunisia 32.22
East Timor 32.82
Lebanon 33.01
Nepal 33.02
Guinea 33.15
Ukraine 33.19
Brazil 33.58
Kuwait 33.61
Ecuador 33.64
Montenegro 33.65
Bolivia 33.88
Gabon 34.83
Bulgaria 35.01
Paraguay 35.64
Macedonia 35.74
Uganda 35.94
Central African Republic 36.12
Zambia 36.48
Congo-Brazzaville 36.73
Mali 38.27
Maldives 39.3
Guatemala 39.33
United Arab Emirates 39.39
Afghanistan 39.46
Chad 39.66
Nigeria 39.69
Qatar 39.83
Indonesia 39.93
Angola 40.42
Oman 40.46
Philippines 41.08
Zimbabwe 41.44
Colombia 41.47
Cameroon 41.59
Burma 41.82
Cambodia 42.07
Morocco / Western Sahara 42.42
Algeria 42.83
Palestine 42.9
India 42.94
Venezuela 42.94
Jordan 43.24
Pakistan 43.55
Honduras 43.75
Sri Lanka 44.34
Thailand 44.69
Gambia 46.7
Malaysia 46.89
South Sudan 48.16
Bangladesh 48.36
Mexico 48.97
Russia 49.45
Tajikistan 50.27
Ethiopia 50.34
Singapore 51.1
Swaziland 51.27
Belarus 52.43
Democratic Republic of Congo 52.67
Turkey 52.98
Brunei 53.72
Kazakhstan 54.01
Iraq 54.03
Rwanda 54.11
Burundi 55.78
Egypt 55.78
Azerbaijan 56.4
Libya 56.81
Bahrain 58.88
Iran 65.12
Yemen 65.8
Somalia 65.95
Saudi Arabia 66.02
Uzbekistan 66.11
Laos 66.41
Equatorial Guinea 66.47
Djibouti 70.54
Cuba 71.75
Sudan 73.56
Vietnam 73.96
China 77.66
Syria 81.49
Turkmenistan 84.19
Eritrea 84.24
North Korea 84.98

(Data sourced from Reporters Without Borders)

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