NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Press Freedom Index 2011-2012

January 31, 2012

Reporters without Borders recently released its 10th annual Press Freedom Index.  "This year's Index sees many changes in the rankings, changes that reflect a year that was incredibly rich in developments, especially in the Arab world," said the group.

The top five countries as ranked by the Index were:

  • Finland.
  • Norway.
  • Estonia.
  • The Netherlands.
  • Austria.

The United States dropped to 47th out of 179 countries from 20th out of 178 countries in 2010.

The Arab uprisings have had contrasting political outcomes so far, with Tunisia and Bahrain at opposite ends of the scale.

  • Tunisia (134th) rose 30 places in the Index, but its new democratic regime has not yet fully accepted a free and independent press.
  • Bahrain (173rd) fell 29 places because of its relentless crackdown on prodemocracy movements, its trials of human rights defenders and its suppression of all space for freedom.
  • Egypt fell 39 places to 166th because the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in power since February, dashed the hopes of democrats by continuing the Mubarak dictatorship's practices.

Within the European Union, the Index reflects a continuation of the very marked distinction between countries such as Finland and Netherlands that have always had a good evaluation and countries such as Bulgaria (80th), Greece (70th) and Italy (61st) that fail to address the issue of their media freedom violations.

Source: "Press Freedom Index 2011/2012," Reporters without Borders, January 2012.

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