RSF releases press freedom indexPosted Nov 9 2009
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its eighth annual press freedom index on Oct. 29. RSF compiles the report every year from questionnaires returned by journalists and media experts. This latest index shows movement both up and down the list.
The top 13 spots are held by European countries, with Denmark moving up to be ranked number one. However, other European countries, such as France, Slovakia and Italy, have descended down the list. RSF points to new legislation jeopardizing the work of journalists as the main threat in Europe.
In the Middle East, RSF notes Israel fell 47 places (to 93rd) due to its military offensive in the Gaza strip, which has impacted the press. Iran has also further fallen in the wake of the disputed presidential election and subsequent censorship policies toward journalists and bloggers. Iran is now ranked 172 and sits at what RSF calls “the gates of the infernal trio at the very bottom.” The “infernal trio” consists of Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
RSF also points out that the United States is back in the top 20 (at number 20) due to what they call the “Obama effect.” However, RSF does not find this completely reassuring and says there are still concerns about how the U.S. military treats the press in Afghanistan and Iraq.
More information – Reporters Without Borders