Freedom of the Press 2008: A Global Survey of Media by Freedom House

By Freedom House

Freedom House's annual press freedom index, now overlaying 195 international locations and territories, has tracked traits in media freedom world wide in view that 1980. Freedom of the click 2008 offers comparative ratings and examines the felony surroundings for the media, political pressures that impact reporting, and fiscal elements that impact entry to info. The survey is the main authoritative evaluate of media freedom all over the world. Its findings are greatly used by policymakers, students, press freedom advocates, newshounds, and foreign associations.

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In Mongolia, ongoing legal harassment of journalists and the judiciary’s inability or unwillingness to prevent it led to a numerical slippage from 36 to 38 points. While the majority of score changes in 2007 were negative, several bright spots are worth noting. A number of these gains came in countries whose scores in 2006 had been negatively affected by coups or other political confl icts. Despite intimidation of journalists by the military in the early months of the year following a December 2006 coup, Fiji’s score improved from 39 to 37 points owing to reduced government pressure on the media over the course of 2007 and an improved legal environment as the new regime asserted that the constitution had not been suspended.

A lack of transparency of ownership and funding leaves the media open to unsubstantiated accusations of criminal influence or ulterior motives. Public broadcasters are typically biased in favor of the authorities and suffer personnel changes under each new government. Print outlets often have explicit ties to political parties or other interest groups, and virtually none are able to survive on advertising and subscription revenue alone. Larger private television stations are more profitable, but they are subject to pressure from major advertisers.

A revised 2005 Press Law guarantees the right of citizens to obtain information and prohibits censorship. ” It also establishes five commissions intended to regulate media agencies and investigate complaints of misconduct; one of the commissions has the power to decide if journalists who contravene the law should face court prosecution or a fi ne. Critics of the law have alleged that its prohibition of “anti-Islamic” writings is overly vague and has led to considerable confusion within the journalistic community on what constitutes permissible content.

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