May 02, 2008

Taiwan: Freedom House Commends Free Press

Sample ImageRespected US non-governmental organization, Freedom House, has published a report that credits Taipei with the freest media in Asia.

Below is an article published by the Gulf Daily News:

Taiwan has won the distinction of being listed as having Asia's freest media environment for the second consecutive year in the annual Freedom House report.

The US non-governmental organisation's Freedom of the Press 2008 report to mark World Press Freedom Day tomorrow lists Taiwan as one of only three Asian countries with "free" media.

"The survey shows that freedom of speech in Taiwan is highly regarded by Freedom House, and that is an honour for all of Taiwan's people," Government Information Office Minister Shieh Jhy-wey said. In the face of a decline in global press freedom over the past six straight years, Taiwan has continued moving up the Freedom House rankings, Shieh said.

Of the 195 countries and territories included in the rankings, Taiwan was listed 32nd, up one place from last year. This year's score for Taiwan was its best ever. Taiwan's ranking was the highest in Asia, ahead of Japan at 35 and South Korea at 67 - the only three Asian countries where the report lists the media as "free."

Hong Kong was also ranked 67th.

Freedom House rated each country's legal, political and economic environment, as well as the degree to which each of these factors affected media freedom.

In the survey, 72 countries, or 37 pc, were rated as "free," while 59 nations, or 30 pc, were described as "partly free" and 64 countries, or 33 pc, as "not free."

China continued to be rated as "not free," with a global ranking of 181, the same as the previous year.

Freedom House said that China last year [2007] tightened media control and Internet restrictions in preparation for the 17th Communist Party Congress, and imprisoned more online journalists and bloggers, despite moderate breakthroughs for investigative journalism and regulations providing somewhat greater access to foreign correspondents.