ROG press freedom ranking

Reporters Without Borders ROG today published its latest press freedom rankings. It compares the situation of the media in 179 states and regions until the end of November 2012.

European countries are at the top of the ranking, with Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan bringing up the rear, as they have done for years. Two years after the start of the Arab Spring, freedom of the press continues to be trampled on in many countries in the region, according to Reporters Without Borders ROG. In Egypt, for example, journalists and bloggers continue to be frequently attacked, arrested or put on trial. But after the "Arab Spring" and the protest movements that led to individual countries quickly moving up or down the rankings in 2011, ROG's 2013 press freedom rankings represent a return to more "familiar" conditions, it said: The link between the intensity of the political agenda and ranking rank is lower than in the previous year, the statement said. So the 2013 rankings show the regimes' medium- and long-term stance on press freedom. At the top of the ranking are the three European countries Finland, the Netherlands and Norway. Switzerland, ranked 14th, is followed by Germany in 17th place - both countries occupy a middle position in a European comparison. Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan - dictatorships that completely control the media - remain at the bottom of the rankings.

No other country has seen its ranking drop as sharply as Mali (99th), which for many years was one of the pioneers of press freedom in Africa. After the military coup in March and the takeover of power in the north by Tuareg and Islamists, many radio stations in the rebel area had to cease operations. Censorship and violent attacks on journalists were also commonplace in the capital. Japan slipped 31 places to 53rd, mainly because of its restrictive information policy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Oman (ranked 141) took criminal action against almost 50 bloggers and net activists to prevent the Arab Spring from spreading - the country slipped 24 places as a result.

The biggest climbers in this year's rankings are Malawi (75th) and Ivory Coast (96th). Both have moved back to roughly their previous rankings after responding to domestic crises with severe repression in 2011. Afghanistan's move up 22 positions (to 128th) reflects the fact that, notwithstanding all the shortcomings and insecurities there, no journalists were killed in the line of duty in 2012 and the number of arrests is declining. Burma moved up to 151st place as a result of political reforms: The former military leadership has dismissed a number of journalists and bloggers, and reform steps such as the abolition of pre-censorship give hope for real change.

Declining media diversity in Switzerland

In the current ranking of the journalists' organization, Switzerland is in 14th place - last year it was still in 8th place. In this context, ROG criticizes the decreasing media diversity in Switzerland. Rank 14 does not mean that the freedom of the press and information in Switzerland has massively deteriorated, writes ROG Switzerland in a communiqué published on Wednesday. In principle, Switzerland is in a good position in an international comparison. But the ongoing media concentration, for example, is to be criticized, it said. "Some media companies have grown strongly, smaller ones have disappeared," the communiqué says. There are more "head papers" in the print sector; the process of concentration with jacket editions and cooperation between editorial offices is still underway, especially at the level of regional newspapers.

In principle, it can be said that Switzerland is in a good position in international comparison when it comes to freedom of the press and information, but it is not perfect. Among other things, Swiss experts criticized the ongoing concentration of the media, convergence, working conditions, a lack of access to offices and authorities and the corresponding files and documents, and the influence of lobbyists and legal representatives on editorial offices.

ROG Rankings

The basis of the Reporters Without Borders (ROG) press freedom ranking is a list of questions answered by domestic experts (media professionals, media lawyers, etc.) in each country - so it is a fixed grid. This questionnaire has been redesigned and extended for the current year. When answering certain questions that cannot be answered with fixed numbers or yes/no, the subjective impression of the experts also plays a role. The rating is also always a comparison of the country with itself in the previous year. Swiss experts do not compare Switzerland with North Korea (which traditionally occupies one of the last places in the ranking), but with Switzerland. European countries are always at the top of the rankings, and the differences in points between the ranks are often very small. The first and the 14th place are not separated by worlds.

Overall ROG ranking of press freedom in German

Close-up Europe (in English)

Close-up Middle East / North Africa (in English)

Close-up Asia (in English)

Close-up America (in English)

Close-up Africa (in English)

 

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