Paris, 16 October 2007
The Reporters Without Borders index
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 made by the authorities to respect and ensure
respect for this freedom.
A score and a position is assigned to
each country in the final ranking. They are complementary indicators
that together assess the state of press freedom. A country can change
position from year to year even if its score stays the same, and
This ranking reflects the situation
during a specific period. It is based solely on events between 1
September 2006 and 1 September 2007. It does not look at human rights
violations in general, just press freedom violations.
To compile this index, Reporters
Without Borders prepared a questionnaire with 50 criteria that assess
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 newspaper issues, searches and harassment). Ánd it
includes the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these
press freedom violations.
It also measures the level of
self-censorship in each country and the ability of the media to
investigate and criticise. Financial pressure, which is increasingly
common, is also assessed and incorporated into the final score.
The questionnaire takes account of the
legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offences,
the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how
the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public
media. It also reflects violations of the free flow of information on