Reporters Without Borders: Worldwide Press Freedom Index

Coincidentally, the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders has just released its Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2007. Hong Kong is ranked No. 61, right alongside Madagascar and just below Kosovo and ahead of Kuwait. A low ranking, I should note, does not necessarily mean that journalists are not free to report what they want, but may be an indication of the conditions in which reporters work and the threats they face. So for example, the Philippines, where the media can be quite active and vocal, comes in at No. 128, I would surmise, because some reporters there have been killed in the line of duty. The bottom-ranked countries are North Korea (No. 168) and Eritrea (No. 169). Once again, those cold countries in the North do well: Iceland and Norway (tied at No. 1), Estonia and Slovakia (joint No. 3), and Belgium, Finland and Sweden (all three at No. 5).