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View Full Version : Press freedom - World map



Buffet
23rd November 2014, 22:37
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Press freedom - World map [ Darker color means less freedom. ]
50963
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Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it. Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result.


- The United States (46th), which fell 13 places, one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks.


- The United Kingdom (33rd, -3) distinguished itself in the war on terror by the disgraceful pressure it put on The Guardian newspaper.


- US and UK authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries.


- Despite its regional aspirations, Turkey (154th) registered no improvement and continues to be one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists.


- China (175th, -1) failed to improve its ranking because, despite having an astonishing vital and increasingly militant blogosphere, it continues to censor and jail dissident bloggers and journalists.

- India (140th, +1) experienced an unprecedented wave of violence against journalists, with eight killed in 2013. They are targeted by both state and non-state actors.


Organized crime is a fearsome predator for journalists in many parts of the world, especially Honduras (129th, -1), Guatemala (125th, -29), Brazil (111th, -2) and Paraguay (105th, -13), but also Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and the Balkans. In organized crime’s shadow, it is hard if not impossible to refrain from self-censorship on such sensitive subjects as drug-trafficking, corruption and criminal penetration of the state apparatus.


NOTEWORTHY RISES

Violence against journalists, direct censorship and misuse of judicial proceedings are on the decline in Panama (87th, +25), Dominican Republic (68th, +13), Bolivia (94th, +16) and Ecuador (94th, +25), although in Ecuador the level of media polarization is still high and often detrimental to public debate.

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php

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Some countries have always suppressed the freedom of press but it's troubling to see countries like US and UK using national security to curb the freedom of press. Over all freedom in world should go up rather than going down but larger countries needs to do a better job.

Saqs
23rd November 2014, 22:43
Interesting. If you look at the top 15 list and align these with the quality of life index, most likely would get a very strong correlation.

About Pakistan though - I think the press here is pretty powerful and takes a lot of liberties with a lot of subject matters. So i wouldn't put it on the same level as China etc where you can't criticise the government at all.

Badsha
23rd November 2014, 23:40
Depends on the definition of Freedom.

shaykh
23rd November 2014, 23:56
Its evident that the majority of the world still don't have a free press...

Fastandfurious
24th November 2014, 00:17
LOL at States being yellow.

shaykh
24th November 2014, 00:23
From the report:

'In the United States, 9/11 spawned a major conflict between the imperatives of national security and the principles of the constitution’s First Amendment. This amendment enshrines every person’s right to inform and be informed. But the heritage of the 1776 constitution was shaken to its foundations during George W. Bush’s two terms as president by the way journalists were harassed and even imprisoned for refusing to reveal their sources or surrender their files to federal judicial officials.

There has been little improvement in practice under Barack Obama. Rather than pursuing journalists, the emphasis has been on going after their sources, but often using the journalist to identify them. No fewer that eight individuals have been charged under the Espionage Act since Obama became president, compared with three during Bush’s two terms. While 2012 was in part the year of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, 2013 will be remember for the National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden, who exposed the mass surveillance methods developed by the US intelligence agencies.

The whistleblower is the enemy. Hence the 35-year jail term imposed on Private Chelsea/Bradley Manning for being the big WikiLeaks source, an extremely long sentence but nonetheless small in comparison with the 105-year sentence requested for freelance journalist Barrett Brown in a hacking case. Amid an all-out hunt for leaks and sources, 2013 will also be the year of the Associated Press scandal, which came to light when the Department of Justice acknowledged that it had seized the news agency’s phone records.'

Buffet
24th November 2014, 01:19
From the report:

'In the United States, 9/11 spawned a major conflict between the imperatives of national security and the principles of the constitution’s First Amendment. This amendment enshrines every person’s right to inform and be informed. But the heritage of the 1776 constitution was shaken to its foundations during George W. Bush’s two terms as president by the way journalists were harassed and even imprisoned for refusing to reveal their sources or surrender their files to federal judicial officials.

There has been little improvement in practice under Barack Obama. Rather than pursuing journalists, the emphasis has been on going after their sources, but often using the journalist to identify them. No fewer that eight individuals have been charged under the Espionage Act since Obama became president, compared with three during Bush’s two terms. While 2012 was in part the year of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, 2013 will be remember for the National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden, who exposed the mass surveillance methods developed by the US intelligence agencies.

The whistleblower is the enemy. Hence the 35-year jail term imposed on Private Chelsea/Bradley Manning for being the big WikiLeaks source, an extremely long sentence but nonetheless small in comparison with the 105-year sentence requested for freelance journalist Barrett Brown in a hacking case. Amid an all-out hunt for leaks and sources, 2013 will also be the year of the Associated Press scandal, which came to light when the Department of Justice acknowledged that it had seized the news agency’s phone records.'

Yah, it's troubling to see this trend.

Buffet
24th November 2014, 01:21
Interesting. If you look at the top 15 list and align these with the quality of life index, most likely would get a very strong correlation.



At global level, correlation is surely there but there are some strong exceptions as well. Like, China is 175th rank in freedom of press but HDI index is high.

50965

http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries

Yossarian
24th November 2014, 01:26
Going by the colours on the map, Afghanistan apparently has more press freedom than Pakistan, India, and Mexico, and is on a par with Brazil. Colourwise, Mongolia apparently has the most press freedom in the whole of the Asia continent, other than Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Interesting.

Saeed
24th November 2014, 01:30
I guess Pakistan is darker because it might have something to do with the violence against Journalists. This is what their page says

VIOLENCE AND IMPUNITY IN INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT
For the second year running, the Indian sub-continent is the Asian region with the biggest rise in violence for journalists. The most disturbing development is the increasingly targeted nature of the violence. In Nepal, Maoist party activists were more aggressive towards journalists who criticize their leaders, especially in the run-up to constituent assembly elections in November.
A record number of eight journalists and one media worker were killed in India in 2013. Half of these deaths were premeditated reprisals. This was twice the 2012 death toll and more than the death toll in Pakistan, long the world’s deadliest country for media personnel. Criminal organizations, security forces, demonstrators and armed groups all pose a threat to India’s journalists. The violence and the resulting self-censorship is encouraged by the lack of effective investigations by local authorities, who are often quick to abandon them, and inaction on the part of the federal authorities.
It was a grim year for freedom of information in Bangladesh as well. Independent bloggers, especially those covering the trials of former political leaders accused of war crimes during the 1971 independence war, have been the targets of constant physical attacks since February. One, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was hacked to death. Another, Asif Mohiuddin, was stabbed by Islamist activists who accused him of blasphemy and insulting the Prophet. Journalists were targeted by both police and rioting protesters during a series of demonstrations from May to October to demand a blasphemy law. The February 2012 murders of journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi are still unpunished.
The same lack of interest in rendering justice is to be found in Pakistan, where the government seems powerless against not only the Taliban, Jihadis and other armed groups but also the military apparatus, which international observers describe as a “state within the state.” Seven journalists were murdered in connection with their work in 2013. Four of them – Mohammad Iqbal of News Network International, Saifur Rehman and Imran Shaikh of Samaa News and Mehmood Ahmed Afridi – were killed in Balochistan, Pakistan’s deadliest province.
While armed groups pose the biggest threat to Pakistani journalists, the intelligence agencies, especially Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), continue to represent a danger. Journalists who dare to speak out accuse the military of spying on media personnel, abducting them, torturing them and even murdering them.

Balochistan has undergone several periods of open armed conflict since the Pakistani armed forces intervened to end Qalat’s independence in 1948. Fighting resumed again in 2004. Since then, this region has been turned into one of the world’s most dangerous regions for journalists by you, the armed separatist groups and the militias created to defend the central Pakistani government.
Reporters Without Borders accuses you, the Baloch armed groups, of the following crimes:
Imposing terror, creating information “black holes” in southwestern Pakistan and turning the city of Khuzdar into one of the world’s most dangerous places for the media.
Constantly threatening news providers and their families in order to force them to censor themselves.
Threatening news media and their reporters with reprisals if they give you “negative” coverage or if they refuse to report your activities and public statements.
Carrying out bombings, the aims of which have included killing journalists who go to cover the targeted events.
Killing many journalists, including Mehmood Ahmed Afridi of the newspaper Intikhab, Abdul Haq Baluch of ARY News TV, Abdul Qadir Hajizai of Vsh TV, and Faiz Muhammad Sasoli of the daily Aaj Kal and the Independent News agency.
You should be called to account for these gross violations of freedom of information, which contravene article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

shaykh
24th November 2014, 02:15
At global level, correlation is surely there but there are some strong exceptions as well. Like, China is 175th rank in freedom of press but HDI index is high.

50965

http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries

The USA is 5th for HDI...and even more significant is Japan...I really wasnt aware they lacked so much press freedom...the same with South Korea...both are top 20 for HDI...

China is 91st for HDI...

I thought maybe Gini coefficient might be a better measure but Belarus kinda puts that theory to bed...

The Scandinavian countries generally though are pretty flawless...

Yossarian
24th November 2014, 02:20
Does the study make any distiction between restrictions on press freedom's by the state versus violence against journalists by disgruntled sections of society or personal vendetta's against journalists or their media outlets and employers?

A state could have high standards of press freedom in terms of very low interference by the state and yet have many incidences against journalists partly due to the very same press freedoms creating antagonism and anger amongst individuals at the receiving ends of the journalists investigations and sensationlistic stories. And vice versa.

That's why it's important to separate the two.

shaykh
24th November 2014, 02:49
Does the study make any distiction between restrictions on press freedom's by the state versus violence against journalists by disgruntled sections of society or personal vendetta's against journalists or their media outlets and employers?

A state could have high standards of press freedom in terms of very low interference by the state and yet have many incidences against journalists partly due to the very same press freedoms creating antagonism and anger amongst individuals at the receiving ends of the journalists investigations and sensationlistic stories. And vice versa.

That's why it's important to separate the two.

This is a good point...the annoying aspect about the study is they have six individual criteria but one can't examine a country to see how these criteria differ...because as you correctly point out...having press freedom doesnt mean journalists are safe...

For instance the piece mentions the danger from the state in some instances like North Korea...the threat of organized crime in some instances such as Brazil or Pakistan...or in some cases the privatization of violence...ie groups that target journalists like IS...

Anyhow here is their criteria...

They have six criteria:

1 - Pluralism
Measures the degree of representation of opinions in the media space.

2 - Media independence
Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities

3 - Environment and self-censorship
Analyses the environment in which journalists work

4 - Legislative framework
Analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness

5 - Transparency
Measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information

6 - Infrastructure
Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information

They are given a score of 0-100 for each category

In addition:

Reporters Without Borders meanwhile calculates a score of between 0 and 100 reflecting the level of violence against journalists during the period considered. The score is based on the monitoring carried out by RWB’s own staff.

They then apply a formula incorporating all of these factors and come up with a final score...

Not a fan of this...because as has been correctly identified press freedom has a lot of different connotations...

Yossarian
24th November 2014, 03:03
This is a good point...the annoying aspect about the study is they have six individual criteria but one can't examine a country to see how these criteria differ...because as you correctly point out...having press freedom doesnt mean journalists are safe...

For instance the piece mentions the danger from the state in some instances like North Korea...the threat of organized crime in some instances such as Brazil or Pakistan...or in some cases the privatization of violence...ie groups that target journalists like IS...

Anyhow here is their criteria...

They have six criteria:

1 - Pluralism
Measures the degree of representation of opinions in the media space.

2 - Media independence
Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities

3 - Environment and self-censorship
Analyses the environment in which journalists work

4 - Legislative framework
Analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness

5 - Transparency
Measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information

6 - Infrastructure
Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information

They are given a score of 0-100 for each category

In addition:

Reporters Without Borders meanwhile calculates a score of between 0 and 100 reflecting the level of violence against journalists during the period considered. The score is based on the monitoring carried out by RWB’s own staff.

They then apply a formula incorporating all of these factors and come up with a final score...

Not a fan of this...because as has been correctly identified press freedom has a lot of different connotations...Appreciate your clarification.

Buffet
24th November 2014, 03:15
About Pakistan though - I think the press here is pretty powerful and takes a lot of liberties with a lot of subject matters. So i wouldn't put it on the same level as China etc where you can't criticise the government at all.

Having read Dawn and Tribune for the last one month, I agree with your assessment. I saw many article criticizing government. I read 1-2 Chinese sources and you will pretty much see party line being propagated.

I think Pakistan's press is mainly affected by army and private violence. Not many in PP will like to see following article due to IK factor but it was an interesting read.

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Not Fit to Print: An Insider Account of Pakistani Censorship


ARY News, the Express Media Group, and Dunya News -- received instructions from the military establishment to support the "dissenting" leaders and their sit-ins. The military was using the media to add muscle and might to the anti-government movement in an attempt to cut Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif down to size.

While the BBC was publishing stories about how Qadri's protesters were allegedly being paid and Dawn, the leading English-language Pakistani newspaper -- and the Express Tribune's main competitor -- was writing powerful editorials about the military's role in the political crisis, we were making sure nothing negative about them went to print.

Day after day, my national editor told me about how he received frantic telephone calls late in the evening about what the lead story should be for the next day and what angle the article should take. First, we were told to focus on Khan. "Take this as Imran's top quote," "This should be in the headline," "Take a bigger picture of him" were the specific directives given by the CEO. Shortly after, the news group's owner was agitated that the newspaper had not been focusing enough on Qadri. We later found out that the military establishment was supporting the two leaders equally and the media was expected to do the same.

We at the Express Tribune were instructed by the military to highlight statements released by the army's Inter-Services Public

http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/11/20/not_fit_to_print_an_insider_account_of_pakistani_c ensorship

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The USA is 5th for HDI...and even more significant is Japan...I really wasnt aware they lacked so much press freedom...the same with South Korea...both are top 20 for HDI...

China is 91st for HDI...

I thought maybe Gini coefficient might be a better measure but Belarus kinda puts that theory to bed...

The Scandinavian countries generally though are pretty flawless...

USA has dropped mainly in the last few years. Last year it dropped by 13 positions to 46 in global rank. You are right about Scandinavian countries. They come on top in pretty much everything.

shaykh
24th November 2014, 03:46
Having read Dawn and Tribune for the last one month, I agree with your assessment. I saw many article criticizing government. I read 1-2 Chinese sources and you will pretty much see party line being propagated.

I think Pakistan's press is mainly affected by army and private violence. Not many in PP will like to see following article due to IK factor but it was an interesting read.

---------------

Not Fit to Print: An Insider Account of Pakistani Censorship


ARY News, the Express Media Group, and Dunya News -- received instructions from the military establishment to support the "dissenting" leaders and their sit-ins. The military was using the media to add muscle and might to the anti-government movement in an attempt to cut Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif down to size.

While the BBC was publishing stories about how Qadri's protesters were allegedly being paid and Dawn, the leading English-language Pakistani newspaper -- and the Express Tribune's main competitor -- was writing powerful editorials about the military's role in the political crisis, we were making sure nothing negative about them went to print.

Day after day, my national editor told me about how he received frantic telephone calls late in the evening about what the lead story should be for the next day and what angle the article should take. First, we were told to focus on Khan. "Take this as Imran's top quote," "This should be in the headline," "Take a bigger picture of him" were the specific directives given by the CEO. Shortly after, the news group's owner was agitated that the newspaper had not been focusing enough on Qadri. We later found out that the military establishment was supporting the two leaders equally and the media was expected to do the same.

We at the Express Tribune were instructed by the military to highlight statements released by the army's Inter-Services Public

http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/11/20/not_fit_to_print_an_insider_account_of_pakistani_c ensorship

------------------





USA has dropped mainly in the last few years. Last year it dropped by 13 positions to 46 in global rank. You are right about Scandinavian countries. They come on top in pretty much everything.

The point on Pakistan is alluded to in the report...suggests that maybe they should have two rankings...one for non state actors and the other for state actors...cos on the face of things when one thinks press freedoms they think the state...

The trend for the USA is interesting...its not actually a constant increase...
2002 - 17
2003 - 31
2004 - 23
2005 - 44
2006 - 53
2007 - 48
2008 - 36
2009 - 20
2010 - 20
2011 - 47
2012 - 47
2013 - 32
2014 - 46

The last four years have seen massive changes...the growth of whistleblowers etc have precipitated that...but its evident that the US has never been the bastion for freedom of the press...its average ranking is 36...

shaykh
24th November 2014, 03:46
Appreciate your clarification.

You're welcome...

Buffet
24th November 2014, 04:17
The trend for the USA is interesting...its not actually a constant increase...
2002 - 17
2003 - 31
2004 - 23
2005 - 44
2006 - 53
2007 - 48
2008 - 36
2009 - 20
2010 - 20
2011 - 47
2012 - 47
2013 - 32
2014 - 46

The last four years have seen massive changes...the growth of whistleblowers etc have precipitated that...but its evident that the US has never been the bastion for freedom of the press...its average ranking is 36...

I suspect that average ranking was much higher before 9/11. I can't immediately find the historical rankings for previous years but here is a portion from 2002 report,

-------------------------

The poor ranking of the United States (17th) is mainly because of the number of journalists arrested or imprisoned there. Arrests are often because they refuse to reveal their sources in court. Also, since the 11 September attacks, several journalists have been arrested for crossing security lines at some official buildings.

http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=classement&id_rubrique=297

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17th rank for USA is cited as poor. Currently, 17th rank will look so much better.

shaykh
24th November 2014, 05:00
I suspect that average ranking was much higher before 9/11. I can't immediately find the historical rankings for previous years but here is a portion from 2002 report,

-------------------------

The poor ranking of the United States (17th) is mainly because of the number of journalists arrested or imprisoned there. Arrests are often because they refuse to reveal their sources in court. Also, since the 11 September attacks, several journalists have been arrested for crossing security lines at some official buildings.

http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=classement&id_rubrique=297

------------------------

17th rank for USA is cited as poor. Currently, 17th rank will look so much better.

Yeh 2001 was certainly the catalyst...2002 is the first report which explains why you couldn't find any earlier ones ;) ...

FreeBird
24th November 2014, 05:07
In countries like Pakistan, too much of a freedom also leads to another problem.

The journalists and media owners start to bully and threat celebrities and political figures for biased reporting against them if certain demands are not met.

There was another interesting case of this young Pakistani bodybuilder who came runner up in world's light weight body building competion in FL this year.

Nobody from Pak media knew about it, neither they cared to publish anything about this guy.

So out of innocence he calls a couple of channels, where GEO demanded for 3 lakh Rs so that his news could be published.

Saeed
8th December 2014, 03:06
The latest Saad-Iqrar issue is an excellent example of limiting the freedom of press. Even if terrorists weren't there, Pakistan would still be ranked lower.