Global press freedom: PH moves up to 86th

By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 01 2015 09:16 AM | Updated as of May 01 2015 05:16 PM

WASHINGTON – The Philippines inched one spot up to 86th place in the rankings on global press freedom among 199 countries and territories assessed in the Freedom of the Press 2015 report.

Still, the Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places for journalists, said the report issued by Freedom House on Wednesday.

Conditions have deteriorated sharply around the world for journalists as they face mounting restrictions on the free flow of news and information, including grave threats to their own lives, the report said.

The Freedom of the Press report assesses the degree of media freedom across the globe every year and each country and territory receives a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which serves as the basis for a status designation of free, partly free or not free.

Although the Philippines rose one notch in the overall rankings to 86th place from 87th previously, it received the same press freedom score as it did last year – 44 points.

It was rated partly free for the 5th successive year.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said one journalist died in 2014 as a result of her work and two others were murdered in the Philippines. It ranked the country as the third worst in the world on its 2014 impunity index, with dozens of unresolved murder cases registered over the past decade.

The Freedom House report said of the 199 countries assessed for 2014, a total of 63 were rated free, 71 including the Philippines were rated partly free and 65 deemed not free.

Freedom House, a Washington-based watchdog organization, assigns a numerical ranking to each country based on the legal, political and economic environments in which media outlets operate.

In the rankings and scores, the Philippines had the best showing among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, followed by Indonesia in 97th place with a score of 49. Both were rated partly free.

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