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Entries in Press Freedom (10)

Friday
Oct172014

European Court of Human Rights affirms journalists’ rights of free expression

On Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights gave an important decision safeguarding the rights of journalists when investigating and reporting on the conduct of allegedly corrupt politicians and public officials. Somewhat strikingly, the case arose from bribery allegations made by and not about a pharmaceutical company.

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Monday
Apr072014

Clean air and dirty pols don't mix

Over the years, we've looked at the correlation between graft and war, debt problems, failed states, earthquake damage, the rule of law, press freedom, and air disasters. Now let's look at environmental stewardship.

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Friday
May102013

Iron Man no match for China censors

Last week, Iron Man 3 opened in China. It's a huge hit there as it is in the U.S.

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Friday
May032013

Press freedom and corruption

Image courtesy of the World Association of Newspapers and News PublishersToday is Press Freedom Day, when the world celebrates the virtues of a free press and remembers that in so many countries, press freedom is just a dream.

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Tuesday
Sep252012

Long prison terms for Vietnamese bloggers

After a six-hour trial Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, three bloggers who wrote about corruption in the government were sentenced to long prison terms for 'spreading propaganda against the state.'

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Monday
Sep242012

Trial of anti-graft bloggers opens in Vietnam

Three bloggers who reported about alleged corruption in Vietnam are on trial for spreading propaganda against the state. 

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Thursday
Mar292012

Let Press Freedom Ring

Louis Brandeis was right. Sunlight, he said, is the best disinfectant.

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Tuesday
Mar132012

More Sunshine, But Still Partly Cloudy

We can't let Sunshine Week pass without a plug for more openness of a particular kind. We're talking about FCPA declinations.

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Friday
Sep232011

In Oman, Exposing Graft Is A Crime

Two newspaper journalists in Oman were sentenced Thursday to five months in prison for reporting alleged government corruption.

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Tuesday
Sep152009

The Press v. Corruption

In its landmark 2002 study, The right to tell: The role of mass media in economic development (here), the World Bank said a free press contributes to cleaner governments -- and to better education, improved public health, lower infant mortality rates, and higher incomes. "Secrecy is the bedrock of persistent corruption," it said, "which undermines confidence in democratic governments in so much of the world. As the expression goes, sunshine is the strongest antiseptic."

The correlation between press freedom and corruption is not perfect but apparent. Here, for example, are the best-ranked countries on Freedom House's 2008 Freedom of the Press World Ranking. In parentheses are the countries' rankings on the 2008 Corruption Perception Index:

Finland (6)
Iceland (7)
Denmark (1)
Norway (14)
Belgium (18)
Sweden (1)
Luxembourg (11)
Andorra (no CPI rank)
Netherlands (7)
New Zealand (1)
Here are the countries that are worst-ranked for press freedom and their CPI rankings:
Iran (144)
Equatorial Guinea (171)
Zimbabwe (166)
Belarus (151)
Uzbekistan (166)
Cuba (65)
Eritrea (126)
Libya (126)
Turkmenistan (166)
Burma (178)
North Korea (no CPI rank)
Of the 195 countries and territories in Freedom House's latest press-freedom survey, 72 were rated as free, 59 as partly free, and 64 as not free. In terms of population, the survey found that only 18 percent of the world’s people live in countries that enjoy a free press, while 40 percent have a partly free press and 42 percent have a not-free press.
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