15 February 2013

In an interesting disconnect the countries with the most free media are not renown for the quality of their journalism. The Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index 2013 has continued to rate Scandinavian countries (and New Zealand which seems to rank as a honorary Scandinavian) as having the least regulated media.

The survey this year assessed media freedom in 179 countries. The most poorly ranked states are not a surprise – with those at the bottom of the index being Iran, Somalia, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, descending in that order.

What obviously is reflective of authoritarianism is that countries rated 173rd to 175th were Cuba, Vietnam and China.

Half of the EU member states rate in the top 30, but Italy, Hungary and Greece score comparatively poorly. Reportedly press freedom has deteriorated markedly in Canada, United States and Japan.

On the Press Freedom Index 2013 the top ten are:

1 Finland
2 Netherlands
3 Norway
4 Luxembourg
5 Andorra
6 Denmark
7 Liechtenstein
8 New Zealand
9 Iceland
10 Sweden

There is a little movement in New Zealand’s place from year to year. It slipped from 8th in 2011 to 13th last year and back to 8th place in 2013.

Australia ranks 26th on the index having moved up from 30th last year.