Thursday, October 18, 2007

Press freedom in Asia

Taiwan ranks highest in Asia when it comes to press freedom, according to Reporters Sans Frontiers, the NGO that represents journalists around the World. Japan and South Korea come second and third.

Here is Asia on the global ranking scale (Kurashi News From Japan list):

32 Taiwan
37 Japan
39 South Korea
61 Hong Kong
74 Mongolia
85 Cambodia
100 Indonesia
120 India
124 Malaysia
128 The Philippines
135 Thailand
137 Nepal
141 Singapore
161 Laos
162 Vietnam
163 China
164 Burma
168 North Korea

Sweden ranks fifth, after Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Slovakia, Belgium, and Finland.

“We are particularly disturbed by the situation in Burma (164th),” Reporters Without Borders said. “The military junta’s crackdown on demonstrations bodes ill for the future of basic freedoms in this country. Journalists continue to work under the yoke of harsh censorship from which nothing escapes, not even small ads. We also regret that China (163rd) stagnates near the bottom of the index. With less than a year to go to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the reforms and the releases of imprisoned journalists so often promised by the authorities seem to be a vain hope.”

4 comments:

Pandabonium said...

The country with the largest economy and a military budget larger by magnitudes of the rest of world (the USofA) ranks 48th. Just above "Togo" and below "Nicaragua" (which it tried to annihilate in the 1980s). Good night, and good luck.

Martin J Frid said...

"...and good luck."

We all need it.

Robin said...

Thanks for this post.

I always wonder .. how important is press freedom.. Does press freedom also leads to press garbage?

Reading some of the news headlines sometimes frighten me, to such a stage that I don't read some of the news anymore.

But then again, some people think that press freedom has a lot to do with freedom of choice. Of which, I will choose not to read the press.

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks robin.

I think we can choose to go without media for days and weeks and months, and find that nothing much has changed.

I was training zazen at a temple in Okayama, and on a day off, I was reading the newspaper. I found some article that I felt I should show others, and I made some silly comment (as one does).

One of the seniors at the temple later quietly pointed out to me, that reading the news was fine, but only after a few years of practice. You don't really need that kind of constant excitement, do you.

Freedom to not care about the daily headlines...