Asia & The Press, It’s Complicated

It’s a generally accepted fact that a healthy and robust Press is good for a society. It can shine a light on corruption and other government or corporate abuses and ideally it helps to inform and educate citizens. A more knowledgeable citizenry makes better decisions and demands better institutions from officials.  Unfortunately Asia lags many parts of the world in allowing and encouraging a free and open Press.

Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders, the World Press Freedom Index ranks countries on media freedom.

The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country.

Taiwan at 42 and South Korea at 43 are top ranked in Asia for press freedom, both beating the United States. Japan comes in at 67 and Mongolia at 70. From there the results are very unimpressive for other Asian countries. Check out where your country ranks here.