When Press Freedom Becomes an Anathema

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Posted By Malik

I came across this year’s Press Freedom Index. International media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders has been issuing the index since 2002. The index is self-explanatory about how some countries in the world are averse to the freedom of the press in spite of doing very impressively in some other domains of life. Ironically, Pakistan has improved its ranking this year by jumping from 159 in  the index of 175 countries to 151 out of 178 this year. Of course, this is not something to be very proud of. We have a long way to go.

For your interest, I am providing this year’s rankings for all countries represented in Humphrey Fellowship Program at ASU. Congratulations, Macedonia for doing better!

  1. Macedonia 68
  2. Croatia 63
  3. Mongolia 76
  4. Bangladesh 126
  5. Turkey 138
  6. Pakistan  151
  7. Sri Lanka  158
  8. China 171

Now, here is the disturbing part. The report stated: “It is disturbing to see several European Union member countries continuing to fall in the index. If it does not pull itself together, the European Union risks losing its position as world leader in respect for human rights. And if that were to happen, how could it be convincing when it asked authoritarian regimes to make improvements? ”


The BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China, the report observed, many have made significant improvement in their economic growth but their march towards press freedom has not been very encouraging.

” Russia, which had a particularly deadly preceding year, is still poorly placed at 140th. Despite an astonishingly vibrant and active blogosphere, China still censors and jails dissidents and continues to languish in 171st place.

About sahmed19

Malik Siraj Akbar is the editor of the Baloch Hal (www.thebalochhal.com), the first online English newspaper of Balochistan province in Pakistan. He also is the chief reporter for the Daily Balochistan Express and a former bureau chief of the Daily Times in Pakistan. His articles have been published on the op-ed pages of leading English-language Asian newspapers, such as the Times of India. Malik blogs on www.gmcmissing.wordpress.com

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