Nonoy Espina, InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines – A press freedom watchdog said ‘the number of people worldwide with access to free and independent media declined to its lowest level in over a decade’ last year, although the Philippines, which is still considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism, registered a ‘modest improvement.’
The Philippines rose to 93rd of 196 countries assessed by Freedom House in 2010, the group’s “Freedom of the Press 2011: A Global Survey of Media Independence” showed. The year before, the Philippines was at 97th place.
However, the improvement was not enough to lift the country from its “Partly Free” status, attributed to the high number of journalists murdered in the country and what Freedom House calls “a high rate of impunity for such crimes.”
The Freedom House report was released late Monday, the eve of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Of the countries and territories assessed by Freedom House in 2010, 68, or 35 percent, were rated “Free,” 65 (33 percent) were rated “Partly Free,” and 63 (32 percent) were rated “Not Free.” North Korea continued to occupy the tail-end of the Freedom House rankings.
(To view a copy of the report, click here.)
But while Freedom House executive director David Kramer said “restrictive and dangerous environments for journalists” were to be expected in nondemocratic countries like those in the Middle East, “we are particularly troubled this year by declines in young or faltering democracies like Mexico, Hungary and Thailand,” which descended to “Not Free” status.
“A country where journalists cannot report freely without fear of interference, by the government or other actors, has little hope of achieving or maintaining true democracy,” he said.
Read full article @ InterAksyon.com
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