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Second world press freedom ranking

How the ranking was compiled

This ranking measures the state of press freedom in the world. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country, and the efforts undertaken by the state to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.

It is a snapshot of the situation in a precise period. It only takes account of events between 1 September 2002 and 1 September 2003. It does not look at human rights violations in general, just press freedom violations.

To compile this ranking, Reporters Without Borders designed a questionnaire with 53 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 these press freedom violations. It takes account of the legal and judicial situation affecting the news media (such as the 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 international press. It also takes account of the main obstacles to the free flow of information on the Internet. Reporters Without Borders has taken account not only of abuses attributable to the state, but also those by armed militia, clandestine organisations or pressure groups that can pose a real threat to press freedom.

The questionnaire was sent to people who have a deep knowledge of the state of press freedom in a country or a number of countries: local journalists or foreign reporters based in a country, researchers, jurists, regional specialists and the researchers working for Reporters Without Borders’ International Secretariat.

The countries that were ranked are those for which Reporters Without Borders received completed questionnaires from a number of independent sources. Others were not included because of a lack of reliable, well-supported input. In cases of ties, countries were ranked by alphabetical order.

Finally, in no case should this ranking be viewed as an indication of the quality of the press in the countries concerned. Reporters Without Borders defends press freedom, without taking a position on the quality of the editorial content of the news media. No account was taken of any breaches of professional ethics or codes of conduct.


Evaluation by region:
  The ranking 2003
Country Note
1 Finland 0,50
- Iceland 0,50
- Netherlands 0,50
- Norway 0,50
5 Denmark 1,00
- Trinidad and Tobago 1,00
7 Belgium 1,17
8 Germany 1,33
9 Sweden 1,50
10 Canada 1,83
11 Latvia 2,25
12 Czech Republic 2,50
- Estonia 2,50
- Slovakia 2,50
- Switzerland 2,50
16 Austria 2,75
17 Ireland 2,83
- Lithuania 2,83
- New Zealand 2,83
20 Slovenia 3,00
21 Hungary 3,33
- Jamaica 3,33
- South Africa 3,33
24 Costa Rica 3,83
25 Uruguay 4,00
26 France 4,17
27 United Kingdom 4,25
28 Portugal 5,17
29 Benin 5,25
30 Timor-Leste 5,50
31 Greece 6,00
- United States of America (American territory) 6,00
33 Poland 6,17
34 Albania 6,50
- Bulgaria 6,50
- Nicaragua 6,50
37 Bosnia and Herzegovina 6,83
- Chile 6,83
- El Salvador 6,83
40 Paraguay 7,17
41 Mauritius 7,25
42 Ecuador 7,67
- Spain 7,67
44 Israel (Israeli territory) 8,00
- Japan 8,00
46 Madagascar 8,17
47 Cape Verde 8,25
48 Ghana 8,75
49 South Korea 9,17
50 Australia 9,25
51 Bolivia 9,67
- Macedonia 9,67
53 Italy 9,75
- Panama 9,75
55 Peru 10,25
56 Hong-Kong 11,00
- Mali 11,00
- Namibia 11,00
59 Fiji 11,50
- Romania 11,50
61 Taïwan 12,00
62 Botswana 13,00
63 Congo 14,00
- Mozambique 14,00
65 Honduras 14,17
66 Senegal 14,50
67 Argentina 15,17
68 Niger 15,75
69 Croatia 16,50
- Tanzania 16,50
71 Brazil 16,75
72 Dominican Republic 17,00
73 Georgia 17,33
74 Mexico 17,67
75 Lesotho 17,75
76 Burkina Faso 18,00
77 Gambia 18,25
- Mongolia 18,25
79 Comoros 18,50
- Kenya 18,50
81 Cambodia 19,50
82 Thailand 19,67
83 Cyprus 20,83
84 Malawi 21,00
85 Serbia and Montenegro 21,33
86 Zambia 23,25
87 Sierra Leone 23,50
88 Chad 24,00
89 Sri Lanka 24,83
90 Armenia 25,17
91 Uganda 25,75
92 Burundi 26,25
93 Seychelles 26,75
94 Moldova 27,00
95 Togo 27,50
96 Venezuela 27,83
97 Angola 28,00
98 Cameroon 30,50
99 Guatemala 30,83
100 Haiti 31,00
101 Gabon 31,25
102 Kuwait 31,33
103 Nigeria 31,50
104 Kyrgyzstan 32,00
- Malaysia 32,00
106 Lebanon 32,50
107 Central African Republic 32,75
108 Algeria 33,00
109 Guinea 33,17
110 Egypt 34,25
- Indonesia 34,25
- Rwanda 34,25
113 Azerbaijan 34,50
- Tajikistan 34,50
115 Qatar 35,00
- Turkey 35,00
117 Bahrain 35,17
118 Guinea-Bissau 35,25
- Philippines 35,25
120 Djibouti 35,50
121 Mauritania 36,67
122 United Arab Emirates 37,00
- Jordan 37,00
124 Ethiopia 37,50
- Iraq 37,50
- Swaziland 37,50
127 Democratic Republic of Congo 38,50
128 India 39,00
- Pakistan 39,00
130 Palestinian Authority 39,25
131 Morocco 39,67
132 Liberia 40,00
- Ukraine 40,00
134 Afghanistan 40,17
135 United States of America (in Iraq) 41,00
136 Yemen 41,83
137 Côte d’Ivoire 42,17
138 Kazakhstan 42,50
139 Equatorial Guinea 44,75
140 Somalia 45,00
141 Zimbabwe 45,50
142 Sudan 45,75
143 Bangladesh 46,50
144 Singapore 47,33
145 Maldives 47,50
146 Israel (Occupied Territories) 49,00
147 Colombia 49,17
148 Russia 49,50
149 Tunisia 50,83
150 Nepal 51,50
151 Belarus 52,00
152 Oman 57,75
153 Libya 60,00
154 Uzbekistan 61,50
155 Syria 67,50
156 Saudi Arabia 71,50
157 Bhutan 77,33
158 Turkmenistan 82,83
159 Vietnam 89,17
160 Iran 89,33
161 China 91,25
162 Eritrea 91,50
163 Laos 94,83
164 Burma 95,50
165 Cuba 97,83
166 North Korea 99,50
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