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Worldwide press freedom index 2005

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 2004 and 1 September 2005. It does not look at human rights violations in general, just press freedom violations.

Reporters Without Borders compiled a questionnaire with 50 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.



How the index was compiled

Evaluation by region:
- Africa
- Americas
- Asia
- Europe
- Middle East


Africa index

Americas index

Asia index

Europe index

Middle East index
  The ranking
CountryScore
1Denmark0,50
-Finland0,50
-Iceland0,50
-Ireland0,50
-Netherlands0,50
-Norway0,50
-Switzerland0,50
8Slovakia0,75
9Czech Republic1,00
-Slovenia1,00
11Estonia1,50
12Hungary2,00
-New Zealand2,00
-Sweden2,00
-Trinidad and Tobago2,00
16Austria2,50
-Latvia2,50
18Belgium4,00
-Germany4,00
-Greece4,00
21Canada4,50
-Lithuania4,50
23Portugal4,83
24United Kingdom5,17
25Benin5,50
-Cyprus5,50
-Namibia5,50
28El Salvador5,75
29Cape Verde6,00
30France6,25
31Australia6,50
-South Africa6,50
33Bosnia and Herzegovina7,00
34Jamaica7,50
-Mauritius7,50
-South Korea7,50
37Japan8,00
-Mali8,00
39Hong-Kong8,25
40Spain8,33
41Costa Rica8,50
42Italy8,67
43Macedonia8,75
44United States of America (American territory)9,50
45Bolivia9,67
46Uruguay9,75
47Israel10,00
48Bulgaria10,25
49Mozambique10,50
50Chile11,75
51Dominican Republic12,25
-Taiwan12,25
53Cyprus (North)12,50
-Mongolia12,50
-Poland12,50
56Croatia12,83
57Niger13,00
58Timor-Leste13,50
59Argentina13,67
60Botswana14,00
-Fiji14,00
62Albania14,17
63Brazil14,50
-Tonga14,50
65Serbia and Montenegro14,83
66Ghana15,00
-Panama15,00
68Nicaragua15,25
69Paraguay15,50
70Romania16,17
71Congo17,00
-Guinea-Bissau17,00
-Seychelles17,00
74Moldova17,50
-Tanzania17,50
76Angola18,00
-Honduras18,00
78Burkina Faso19,00
-Senegal19,00
80Uganda19,25
81Lesotho19,50
82Central African Republic19,75
83Cameroon20,50
-Liberia20,50
85Kuwait21,25
86Guatemala21,50
87Ecuador21,75
88Comoros22,00
89Malawi22,75
90Burundi23,00
-Cambodia23,00
-Qatar23,00
-Venezuela23,00
-Zambia23,00
95Togo23,75
96Jordan24,00
97Madagascar24,50
98Turkey25,00
99Georgia25,17
100Kosovo25,75
-United Arab Emirates25,75
102Armenia26,00
-Gabon26,00
-Guinea26,00
-Indonesia26,00
106India27,00
107Thailand28,00
108Lebanon28,25
109Chad30,00
-Kenya30,00
111Kyrgyzstan32,00
112Ukraine32,50
113Malaysia33,00
-Tajikistan33,00
115Sri Lanka33,25
116Peru33,33
117Haiti33,50
118Swaziland35,00
119Kazakhstan36,17
-Morocco36,17
121Djibouti37,00
122Rwanda38,00
123Bahrein38,75
-Nigeria38,75
125Afghanistan39,17
126Sierra Leone39,50
127Mauritania40,00
128Colombia40,17
129Algeria40,33
130Gambia41,00
131Ethiopia42,00
132Palestinian Authority42,50
133Equatorial Guinea44,00
-Sudan44,00
135Mexico45,50
136Yemen46,25
137United States of America (in Iraq)48,50
138Russia48,67
139Philippines50,00
140Singapore50,67
141Azerbaijan51,00
142Bhutan51,50
143Egypt52,00
144Côte d’Ivoire52,25
145Syria55,00
146Democratic Republic of Congo57,33
147Tunisia57,50
148Maldives58,50
149Somalia59,00
150Pakistan60,75
151Bangladesh61,25
152Belarus61,33
153Zimbabwe64,25
154Saudi Arabia66,00
155Laos66,50
-Uzbekistan66,50
157Iraq67,00
158Vietnam73,25
159China83,00
160Nepal86,75
161Cuba87,00
162Libya88,75
163Burma88,83
164Iran89,17
165Turkmenistan93,50
166Eritrea99,75
167North Korea109,00
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