Press freedom: Philippines 'partly free'

By Jose Katigbak, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 03 2014 09:31 AM | Updated as of May 03 2014 05:31 PM

WASHINGTON – The Philippines moved one spot forward to 87th place in the rankings on global press freedom and was rated as partly free for the fourth successive year in the latest Freedom House report.

The report released on Friday said global press freedom had fallen to its lowest level in over a decade in 2013.

In a survey of 197 countries and territories, Freedom House ranked 63 countries free, 68 countries including the Philippines partly free, and 66 countries not free.

Freedom House, a Washington-based watchdog organization, assigns a numerical ranking to each country based on the legal environment in which media outlets operate, political influences on reporting and access to information and economic pressures on content and dissemination of news.

Each country in the rankings receives a score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free) which serves as the basis for an overall press freedom designation of free, partly free, or not free.

The Philippines received a score of 44 points in the latest report entitled “Freedom of the Press 2014,” down from 42 points previously. Nevertheless, its ranking in 87th place from 88th previously was the best among ASEAN countries.

ASEAN members following the Philippines were Indonesia (98), Thailand and Malaysia (141), Cambodia (147), Singapore (152), Myanmar (159), Brunei (164), and Vietnam and Laos (183).

Sharing the top spot in the rankings were Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. The eight worst-rated countries were still Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.