Tuesday 3 May 2011

M'sia slips to 143 in press freedom index

Ranked 143 out of 196 countries in terms of press freedom, the Malaysian press remains 'not free' in the eyes of a global watchdog.

freedom house 2011 global press freedom mapThe findings were released by US-based Freedom House in its Freedom of the Press Survey 2011, in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day today.

Malaysia - with 64 points - shares the same spot as Madagascar and Angola in Africa.

Freedom House, located in Washington DC, found that global media freedom has reached a new low point, contributing to an environment in which only one in every six people lives in a country with a free press.

“In 2010, there were particularly worrisome trends in the Middle East and the Americas, while improvements were noted in sub-Saharan Africa,” it said in a statement.

azlanWithin Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia are ranked above Malaysia.

The Philippines is ranked 93 with 46 points and Indonesia, 108 with 53 points, with both being classified 'partly free'. The press in Thailand (ranked 138) and Cambodia (141) are 'not free'.

The 'good' news for Malaysia is that it is ranked above Singapore (150), Brunei (163), Vietnam (177), Laos (184) and Myanmar (191).

In 2009, Malaysia stood at 143, but showed slight improvement to 141 last year.

Top 10 countries

According to the survey, the top 10 countries are Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Iceland, Luxembourg, Andorra, Denmark, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and Palau.

azlanThe 10 worst are Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Among the 53 Commonwealth countries, those ranked below Malaysia include Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Gambia, and Swaziland.

The report places each country in one of three categories - free, partly free and not free. The lower the number of points, the higher a country ranks in terms of press freedom.

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