China ranked 5th from the bottom up (176th place) in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, released Thursday by the international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The results all around aren’t looking great. The group said that press freedom suffered a “drastic decline” worldwide last year.
“Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index performed less well than in the previous year,” the France-based watchdog said. RSF attributed the decline largely to attacks on media as global conflicts proliferated throughout 2014. This includes not only repressive regimes, but also non-state groups such as Boko Haram and Islamic State, which “used fear and reprisals to silence journalists”.
Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were among the places ranked as having the worst levels of press freedom. China came in 176th, one step down from last year.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan ranked 61st place, Hong Kong ranked 70th and Taiwan 51st. Hong Kong dropped nine places from last year in the wake of the pro-democracy movement that gained huge momentum over the past few months of 2014. Around the world, France ranked 38th (up one place) the US 49th (down three places) and Russia 152nd (down four).
Here’s a list of the top 10 countries/territories from RSF’s latest report…
6. New Zealand
And the bottom 10 on the list:
179. North Korea
You can view the entire report here.
Previously on Shanghaiist: China’s media environment ‘one of the world’s most restrictive’ in 2013: Report