News / Middle East

Report: Arab Spring Not Bringing More Press Freedoms

Journalists carry signs demanding freedom of press and expression during a demonstration against the violations of the security services towards the press and journalists outside the Council of the Press and Publication, in Khartoum, Sudan, May 16, 2012.Journalists carry signs demanding freedom of press and expression during a demonstration against the violations of the security services towards the press and journalists outside the Council of the Press and Publication, in Khartoum, Sudan, May 16, 2012.
x
Journalists carry signs demanding freedom of press and expression during a demonstration against the violations of the security services towards the press and journalists outside the Council of the Press and Publication, in Khartoum, Sudan, May 16, 2012.
Journalists carry signs demanding freedom of press and expression during a demonstration against the violations of the security services towards the press and journalists outside the Council of the Press and Publication, in Khartoum, Sudan, May 16, 2012.
VOA News
A global media monitoring group says press freedom did not improve last year in North Africa and the Middle East, despite the so-called Arab Spring that continued to sweep the region.

In its annual World Press Freedom Index released Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders ranked the protest-hit regions as the worst in the world. It said media freedom remained "deplorable" in Tunisia and Egypt, where protests forced a change of government.

2013 World Press Freedom Index

Most Free
  1. Finland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Norway
  4. Luxembourg
  5. Andorra

Least Free
  1. Eritrea
  2. North Korea
  3. Turkmenistan
  4. Syria
  5. Somalia
In Syria, the report said journalists and netizens [Internet users] are victims of an "information war" waged by both the Assad government and opposition groups that are "increasingly intolerant of dissent." It said Syria was the deadliest country for journalists in 2012.

The rest of Africa and the Asia-Pacific region also ranked poorly in the report by the France-based organization.

Mali, which was hit by a military coup and subsequent Islamist takeover in the north, fell 74 spots - the biggest drop in the global rankings. The biggest leap belonged to Malawi, which rose 74 spots following the death of ruler Bingu wa Mutharika. But Africa also claimed the world's worst country for press freedom, Eritrea, which was called a "vast open prison" that "lets journalists die in detention."

The report said freedom of information also was on the decline in Asia, which had 15 of the bottom 45 rankings in the index. It said there was no sign of improvement in North Korea, China, Vietnam or Laos, where one-party authoritarian governments "still refuse to grant their citizens the freedom to be informed."

One exception was Burma, which the report said took "significant steps toward genuine freedom of information" in 2012. The report said journalists in Burma are no longer imprisoned, and it praised the reformist government's early steps toward legislative reform.

The top three spots belonged to Finland, the Netherlands and Norway, all of which headed the index last year. The United States gained 15 spots to finish at 32nd in the world.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More