Saturday, January 15, 2005

Deadly Media Harrassment

Following up on the post below on the media crackdown in Vietnam, Reporters Without Borders provides an indication of the sometimes deadly business of having a free press. 2004 was a bad year. Its press freedom barometer reports the following appalling figures:
  • 53 journalists killed
  • 15 media assistants killed
  • 104 journalists imprisoned
  • 3 media assistants imprisoned
  • 71 cyberdissidents imprisoned
In the Philippines - whose press is often praised for being the most "open" in Southeast Asia - six journalists were killed last year.

Reporters Without Borders also offers its annual worldwide press freedom index. Like all such attempts to quantify notions of political freedom I am sure that RWB's methodology can be critcised though it does offer an account of it here. But I think it gives a fairly accurate reflection of the situation facing critical media workers. As the accompanying report notes East Asia comes out it very badly indeed. Altogether some 167 countries are ranked (1 = best press freedom). Here are the figures for Southeast Asia:
  • 57 - East Timor
  • 59 - Thailand
  • 109 - Cambodia
  • 111 - The Philippines
  • 117 - Indonesia
  • 122 - Malaysia
  • 147 - Singapore
  • 153 - Laos
  • 161 - Vietnam
  • 165 - Burma
Unsurprisngly, there are no figures for Brunei.

Incidentally, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland came equal first. The US managed equal 22nd; while Britain was equal 28th (alongside El Salvador and Hungary). The ignominious last place was taken by China.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello! this is marian, i hope you remember me. is your email address still anyways, as for what you posted...yes, i find it saddening that the year 2004 was quite harsh to Filipino journalists. what's more saddening is the fact that justice, if it will be served, will most likely be after 7 years or so.

6:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, can you give me more info's about the cases posted here?, i need them in my research, thanks in advance. please!!!

10:41 am  

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