Freedom of the Press 2007 Survey Release

Freedom House

North Korea comes in last place again: 197

Asia-Pacific Region: The Asia-Pacific region as a whole exhibited a relatively high level of freedom, with 16 countries (40 percent) rated Free, 10 (25 percent) rated Partly Free, and 14 (35 percent) rated Not Free. Nevertheless, Asia is home to two of the five worst-rated countries in the world, Burma and North Korea, which have extremely repressive media environments, as well as several other poor performers such as China, Laos and Vietnam, all of which use state or party control of the press as the primary tool to restrict media freedom.

Several bright spots worth noting include Nepal, where wide-ranging political change led to a dramatic opening in the media environment, and Cambodia and Indonesia, which also featured positive movement. Asia saw many negative developments in 2006, however, continuing the downward regional trajectory noted in last year’s survey. Coups and military intervention led to the suspension of legal protections for press freedom and new curbs imposed on media coverage in Fiji and Thailand. Intensified political and civil conflict during the year contributed to declines in Sri Lanka, East Timor and the Philippines. Heightened restrictions on coverage, as well as harassment of media outlets that overstepped official and unofficial boundaries, negatively impacted press freedom in Malaysia, China and Pakistan.


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