MANILA, Philippines – Only 9% of the world’s population enjoys a free press, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) pointed out on World Press Freedom Day, Friday, May 3.
This 9% live in the 43 countries marked white (good) or yellow (fairly good) in their 2019 World Press Freedom Index. (READ: Philippines down 1 spot in 2019 World Press Freedom Index)
According to the index, the country that enjoys the most press freedom is Norway, while Italy is ranked 43rd.
The rest of the world – 91% – lives in countries marked red (bad), or black (very bad), or orange (problematic).
The RSF said 74% of the world’s population lives in a country marked black or red on the map. In that group are China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, countries “where the press freedom situation is regarded as difficult or very serious” and “where the freedom to inform is heavily suppressed.”
However, RSF also noted that democracies such as Mexico and India are also in the group.
The figure goes up to 91% if countries marked orange are included. It is in these countries “where the situation is regarded as problematic.”
Ranking at 44 – the first country marked orange – is Botswana, while Turkmenistan ranks the lowest at 180.
The Philippines, down one spot since 2018, ranks 134, which is in the red zone.
“None of humankind’s big problems – whether global warming, corruption or gender inequality – can be solved without information that is freely and independently reported and reliable, in other words, without quality journalism,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “This situation is very worrying for journalists and above all for all those human beings who are being deprived of their right to information.”
RSF’s figures are based on World Bank population statistics and percentages in their 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
The World Press Freedom Index is determined through collecting experts’ responses on a survey that tackles pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.
The responses to the questionaire are combined with quantitative data on the abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the time period being evaluated. – Rappler.com