[NetBehaviour] North Korea, Eritrea and Turkmenistan are the world’s “black holes” for news.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Nov 6 16:23:51 CET 2005

Hi Everyone,

On my Internet travels I found this article (research), not sure how 
accurate it is. The United Kingdom, is 24th down the list which is 

Have a look and see where your own country rests on the list regarding 
freedom of press. You have to follow the link provided further below...



North Korea, Eritrea and Turkmenistan are the world’s “black holes” for 

Western democracies slip back, with the US falling more than 20 places.

North Korea once again comes bottom of the Reporters Without Borders 
fourth annual World Press Freedom Index, released today. It is closely 
followed in the 167-country list by Eritrea (166th) and Turkmenistan 
(165th), which are other “black holes” for news where the 
privately-owned media is not allowed and freedom of expression does not 

Journalists there simply relay government propaganda. Anyone out of step 
is harshly dealt with. A word too many, a commentary that deviates from 
the official line or a wrongly-spelled name and the author may be thrown 
in prison or draw the wrath of those in power. Harassment, psychological 
pressure, intimidation and round-the-clock surveillance are routine.

East Asia (Burma 163rd, China 159th, Vietnam 158th, Laos 155th), Central 
Asia (Turkmenistan 165th, Uzbekistan 155th, Afghanistan 125th, 
Kazakhstan 119th) and the Middle East (Iran 164th, Iraq 157th, Saudi 
Arabia 154th, Syria 145th) are where journalists have the toughest time 
and where government repression or armed groups prevent the media 
operating freely.

The situation in Iraq (157th) deteriorated further during the year as 
the safety of journalists became more precarious. At least 24 
journalists and media assistants have been killed so far this year, 
making it the mostly deadly conflict for the media since World War II. A 
total of 72 media workers have been killed since the fighting began in 
March 2003.

But more and more African and Latin American countries (Benin 25th, 
Namibia 25th, El Salvador 28th, Cape Verde 29th, Mauritius 34th, Mali 
37th, Costa Rica 41st and Bolivia 45th) are getting very good rankings.

Some Western democracies slipped down the Index.

The United States (44th) fell more than 20 places, mainly because of the 
imprisonment of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and legal moves 
undermining the privacy of journalistic sources. Canada (21st) also 
dropped several places due to decisions that weakened the privacy of 
sources and sometimes turned journalists into “court auxiliaries.” 
France (30th) also slipped, largely because of searches of media 
offices, interrogations of journalists and introduction of new press 



How the Index was complied:

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