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Worldwide press freedom index 2006

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.

Each one has a ranking and a score which together sum up the state of press freedom there. A country can change rank from year to year even if its score stays the same, and vice-versa.

It is based solely on events between 1 September 2005 and 1 September 2006. 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 168 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.



Questionnaire for compiling a 2006 world press freedom index
How the index was compiled

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


Africa Index

Americas Index

Asia Index

Europe Index

Middle-East Index

Index
  The ranking
CountryScore
1Finland0,50
-Iceland0,50
-Ireland0,50
-Netherlands0,50
5Czech Republic0,75
6Estonia2,00
-Norway2,00
8Slovakia2,50
-Switzerland2,50
10Hungary3,00
-Latvia3,00
-Portugal3,00
-Slovenia3,00
14Belgium4,00
-Sweden4,00
16Austria4,50
-Bolivia4,50
-Canada4,50
19Bosnia and Herzegovina5,00
-Denmark5,00
-New-Zealand5,00
-Trinidad and Tobago5,00
23Benin5,50
-Germany5,50
-Jamaica5,50
26Namibia6,00
27Lithuania6,50
-United Kingdom6,50
29Costa Rica6,67
30Cyprus7,50
31South Korea7,75
32Greece8,00
-Mauritius8,00
34Ghana8,50
35Australia9,00
-Bulgaria9,00
-France9,00
-Mali9,00
39Panama9,50
40Italy9,90
41El Salvador10,00
-Spain10,00
43Taiwan10,50
44South Africa11,25
45Cape Verde11,50
-Macedonia11,50
-Mozambique11,50
-Serbia and Montenegro11,50
49Chile11,63
50Israel12,00
51Japan12,50
52Dominican Republic12,75
53Botswana13,00
-Croatia13,00
-Tonga13,00
-United States of America13,00
57Uruguay13,75
58Fiji14,00
-Hong-Kong14,00
-Poland14,00
-Romania14,00
62Central African Republic14,50
-Cyprus (North)14,50
-Guinea-Bissau14,50
-Honduras14,50
66Madagascar15,00
-Togo15,00
68Ecuador15,25
69Nicaragua15,50
70Burkina Faso16,00
-Kosovo16,00
-Lesotho16,00
73Congo17,00
-Kuwait17,00
75Brazil17,17
76Argentina17,30
77Mauritania17,50
-Senegal17,50
-United Arab Emirates17,50
80Albania18,00
-Qatar18,00
82Paraguay18,25
83Timor-Leste18,50
84Liberia19,00
85Moldova19,17
86Mongolia19,25
87Haiti19,50
88Tanzania19,82
89Georgia21,00
90Guatemala21,25
91Angola21,50
92Malaysia22,25
93Comoros22,50
-Zambia22,50
95Niger24,50
-Seychelles24,50
97Morocco24,83
98Bhutan25,00
-Côte d’Ivoire25,00
-Turkey25,00
101Armenia25,50
-Malawi25,50
103Indonesia26,00
-Sierra Leone26,00
105India26,50
-Ukraine26,50
107Lebanon27,00
108Cambodia27,25
109Guinea27,50
-Jordan27,50
111Bahrein28,00
112Cameroon28,25
-Peru28,25
114Gabon28,50
115Venezuela29,00
116Uganda29,83
117Tajikistan30,00
118Kenya30,25
119United States of America (extra-territorial)31,50
120Nigeria32,23
121Djibouti33,00
122Thailand33,50
123Kyrgyzstan34,00
124Chad35,50
125Burundi39,83
126Algeria40,00
127Swaziland40,50
128Kazakhstan41,00
-Rwanda41,00
130Afghanistan44,25
131Colombia44,75
132Mexico45,83
133Egypt46,25
134Palestinian Authority46,75
135Azerbaijan47,00
-Israel (extra-territorial)47,00
137Bangladesh48,00
-Equatorial Guinea48,00
139Sudan48,13
140Zimbabwe50,00
141Sri Lanka50,75
142Democratic Republic of Congo51,00
-Philippines51,00
144Maldives51,25
-Somalia51,25
146Singapore51,50
147Russia52,50
148Tunisia53,75
149Gambia54,00
-Yemen54,00
151Belarus57,00
152Libya62,50
153Syria63,00
154Iraq66,83
155Vietnam67,25
156Laos67,50
157Pakistan70,33
158Uzbekistan71,00
159Nepal73,50
160Ethiopia75,00
161Saudi Arabia76,00
162Iran90,88
163China94,00
164Burma94,75
165Cuba95,00
166Eritrea97,50
167Turkmenistan98,50
168North Korea109,00
Annual worlwide press freedom index 2007 Annual worlwide press freedom index 2006 Annual worlwide press freedom index 2005 Annual worlwide press freedom index 2004 Annual worlwide press freedom index 2003 Annual worlwide press freedom index 2002