World Press Freedom Index 2006
Reporters Without Borders

The countries with the worst record are still North Korea, eritrea, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Burma and China. Bracketed are the positions in 2005.

1 (1) Finland
1 (1) Iceland
1 (1) Ireland
1 (1) Netherlands
31 (34) South Korea
35 (31) Australia
43 (51) Taiwan
51 (37) Japan
53 (44) USA
58 (39) Hong Kong
92 (113) Malaysia
103 (102) Indonesia
108 (90) Cambodia
122 (107) Thailand
141 (115) Sri Lanka
142 (139) Philippines
146 (140) Singapore
147 (138) Russia
155 (158) Vietnam
157 (150) Pakistan
163 (159) China
164 (163) Burma
168 (167) North Korea

Asian countries never rate well in these rankings, and hence these surveys are largely dismissed or ignored by most Asian governments. The press/media is still viewed as a crucial tool to hold onto political power in most of Asia. When will the winds of change arrive ...?? Why are certain countries at the top - well, its simple really, just have the following: no censorship; threats; intimidation; physical reprisals on journalists and their work. One can easily repress press freedom on account of "national stability", "political stability", etc... Why then are so many countries that rank well in press freedom have so few political problems?? But countries that rank poorly usually have repressive governments and tons of conflicts - so that argument does not hold water. Singapore being a pragmatic government, should do what yields the best results, and according to these rankings, they should try and move up the rankings for purely pragmatic reasons.