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Third Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index

How the index was compiled

The index measures the state of press freedom in the world. It reflects the degree of freedom journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the state to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.

It is based solely on events between 1 September 2003 and 1 September 2004. It does not look at human rights violations in general, just press freedom violations.

Reporters Without Borders compiled a questionnaire with 52 criteria for assessing the state of press freedom in each country. It includes every kind of violation directly affecting journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of issues, searches and harassment).

It registers the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for such violations. It also takes account of the legal situation affecting the news media (such as penalties for press offences, the existence of a state monopoly in certain areas and the existence of a regulatory body) and the behaviour of the authorities towards the state-owned news media and the foreign press. It also takes account of the main obstacles to the free flow of information on the Internet.

We have taken account not only of abuses attributable to the state, but also those by armed militias, clandestine organisations or pressure groups that can pose a real threat to press freedom.

The questionnaire was sent to partner organisations of Reporters Without Borders (14 freedom of expression groups in five continents) and its 130 correspondents around the world, as well as to journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. A scale devised by the organisation was then used to give a country-score to each questionnaire. The Statistics Institute of the University of Paris provided assistance and advice in processing the data reliably and thoroughly.

The 167 countries ranked are those for which we received completed questionnaires from a number of independent sources. Others were not included because of a lack of credible data. Where countries tied, they are listed in alphabetical order.

The index should in no way be taken as an indication of the quality of the press in the countries concerned.


Evaluation by region:
  The ranking
Country Note
1 Denmark 0,50
- Finland 0,50
- Iceland 0,50
- Ireland 0,50
- Netherlands 0,50
- Norway 0,50
- Slovakia 0,50
- Switzerland 0,50
9 New Zealand 0,67
10 Latvia 1,00
11 Estonia 2,00
- Germany 2,00
- Sweden 2,00
- Trinidad and Tobago 2,00
15 Slovenia 2,25
16 Lithuania 3,00
17 Austria 3,25
18 Canada 3,33
19 Czech Republic 3,50
- France 3,50
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,67
22 Belgium 4,00
- United States of America (American territory) 4,00
24 Jamaica 4,17
25 Portugal 4,50
26 South Africa 5,00
27 Benin 5,50
28 El Salvador 6,00
- Hungary 6,00
- United Kingdom 6,00
31 Dominican Republic 6,75
32 Poland 6,83
33 Greece 7,00
34 Hong-Kong 7,50
35 Costa Rica 7,63
36 Bulgaria 8,00
- Israel (Israeli territory) 8,00
38 Cape Verde 8,75
39 Italy 9,00
- Spain 9,00
41 Australia 9,50
42 Chile 10,00
- Japan 10,00
- Namibia 10,00
- Uruguay 10,00
46 Mauritius 10,50
- Paraguay 10,50
48 South Korea 11,13
49 Macedonia 11,25
50 Albania 11,50
- Botswana 11,50
52 Nicaragua 11,67
53 Honduras 11,75
54 Croatia 11,83
55 Grenade 12,00
56 Mali 12,83
57 Ghana 13,50
- Timor-Leste 13,50
59 Thailand 14,00
60 Taiwan 14,25
61 Panama 14,50
- Tanzania 14,50
63 Fiji 16,00
64 Burkina Faso 16,25
- Mozambique 16,25
66 Brazil 16,50
- Ecuador 16,50
- Guatemala 16,50
69 Congo 17,50
70 Romania 17,83
71 Niger 18,33
72 Madagascar 18,50
73 Burundi 19,00
- Mongolia 19,00
75 Togo 19,50
76 Bolivia 20,00
77 Serbia and Montenegro 20,13
78 Moldova 20,50
79 Argentina 21,33
80 Senegal 21,50
81 Cyprus (North) 22,00
82 Kenya 22,25
83 Armenia 23,50
- Guinea-Bissau 23,50
- Seychelles 23,50
86 Uganda 24,00
87 Lebanon 24,38
88 Guinea 24,50
- Sierra Leone 24,50
90 Venezuela 24,63
91 Angola 26,50
- Comoros 26,50
93 Cameroon 27,00
94 Georgia 27,50
95 Tajikistan 27,75
96 Mexico 27,83
97 Afghanistan 28,25
98 Gambia 29,50
- Lesotho 29,50
100 Zambia 29,75
101 Malawi 31,00
- Swaziland 31,00
103 Kuwait 31,67
104 Central African Republic 32,50
- Qatar 32,50
106 Chad 33,25
107 Kyrgyzstan 35,25
108 United States of America (in Iraq) 36,00
109 Cambodia 36,50
- Sri Lanka 36,50
111 Philippines 36,63
112 Ethiopia 37,00
113 Rwanda 37,25
- Turkey 37,25
115 Gabon 37,50
- Israel (Occupied Territories) 37,50
117 Indonesia 37,75
- Nigeria 37,75
119 Tonga 38,17
120 India 38,50
121 Jordan 39,13
122 Malaysia 39,83
123 Liberia 40,00
- Peru 40,00
125 Haiti 42,13
126 Morocco 43,00
127 Palestinian Authority 43,17
128 Algeria 43,50
- Egypt 43,50
- Somalia 43,50
131 Kazakhstan 44,17
132 Sudan 44,25
133 Equatorial Guinea 46,25
134 Colombia 47,38
135 Yemen 48,00
136 Azerbaijan 49,67
137 United Arab Emirates 50,25
138 Mauritania 51,00
- Ukraine 51,00
140 Russia 51,38
141 Democratic Republic of Congo 51,50
142 Uzbekistan 52,13
143 Bahrein 52,50
144 Belarus 54,10
145 Djibouti 55,00
146 Bhutan 55,83
147 Singapore 57,00
148 Iraq 58,50
149 Côte d’Ivoire 60,38
150 Pakistan 61,75
151 Bangladesh 62,50
152 Tunisia 62,67
153 Laos 64,33
154 Libya 65,00
155 Syria 67,50
- Zimbabwe 67,50
157 Maldives 69,17
158 Iran 78,30
159 Saudi Arabia 79,17
160 Nepal 84,00
161 Vietnam 86,88
162 China 92,33
163 Eritrea 93,25
164 Turkmenistan 99,83
165 Burma 103,63
166 Cuba 106,83
167 North Korea 107,50
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