Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Singapore hits record low in World Press Freedom Index ranking

Singapore fell 14 places to a record low of 149th position from the previous 135th position in terms of press freedom index in the latest annual ranking by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) [Link].

It is Singapore’s worst ranking since the index was established in 2002.
Singapore is even behind countries like Ethiopia (137th), Tunisia (138th), Oman (141st), Congo (142nd), Cambodia (143rd) and Russia (148th).

In the past 1 year or so, there have been many instances where letters of demand were sent to bloggers and websites, asking them to apologize and take down postings which allegedly had defamed government ministers or the court.

Singapore’s rankings in the last few years:
2013 149th (worst result for Singapore)
2011-2012 135th
2010 136th
2009 133rd
2008 144th
2007 141st
Since opening up, Myanmar, which is a country controlled by the military, has jumped 18 places from 169th to 151st this year, just 2 positions behind Singapore.

Turkmenistan (177th), North Korea (178th) and Eritrea (179th) stayed at the bottom three, while Finland stayed on top of the list followed by the Netherlands (2nd) and Norway (3rd).

Malawi registered the biggest leap (71 places) in the index from 146th to 75th, almost returning to the position it held before the excesses at the end of the Mutharika dictatorship.

With such an ‘impressive achievement’, surely the Editors-in-Chief of the various papers in Singapore Press Holdings must be busy patting themselves in the back, looking forward to a fat bonus come Christmas.

RWB was founded in Montpellier (France) in 1985 by four journalists: Robert Ménard, Rémy Loury, Jacques Molénat and Émilien Jubineau.
RWB believes that freedom of information is the foundation of any democracy. It is registered in France as a non-profit organisation and has consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO.

Source: TRE website

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