Reporters Without Borders publishes the first worldwide press freedom index (October 2002)

first_img Organisation October 23, 2002 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Reporters Without Borders publishes the first worldwide press freedom index (October 2002) Help by sharing this information RSF_en The first worldwide index of press freedom has some surprises for Western democracies. The United States ranks below Costa Rica and Italy scores lower than Benin. The five countries with least press freedom are North Korea, China, Burma, Turkmenistan and Bhutan. center_img – Surprises among Western democracies: US below Costa Rica and Italy below BeninReporters Without Borders is publishing for the first time a worldwide index of countries according to their respect for press freedom. It also shows that such freedom is under threat everywhere, with the 20 bottom-ranked countries drawn from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The situation in especially bad in Asia, which contains the five worst offenders – North Korea, China, Burma, Turkmenistan and Bhutan.The top end of the list shows that rich countries have no monopoly of press freedom. Costa Rica and Benin are examples of how growth of a free press does not just depend on a country’s material prosperity.The index was drawn up by asking journalists, researchers and legal experts to answer 50 questions about the whole range of press freedom violations (such as murders or arrests of journalists, censorship, pressure, state monopolies in various fields, punishment of press law offences and regulation of the media). The final list includes 139 countries. The others were not included in the absence of reliable information.In the worst-ranked countries, press freedom is a dead letter and independent newspapers do not exist. The only voice heard is of media tightly controlled or monitored by the government. The very few independent journalists are constantly harassed, imprisoned or forced into exile by the authorities. The foreign media is banned or allowed in very small doses, always closely monitored.Right at the top of the list four countries share first place – Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands. These northern European states scrupulously respect press freedom in their own countries but also speak up for it elsewhere, for example recently in Eritrea and Zimbabwe. The highest-scoring country outside Europe is Canada, which comes fifth.Some countries with democratically-elected governments are way down in the index – such as Colombia (114th) and Bangladesh (118th). In these countries, armed rebel movements, militias or political parties constantly endanger the lives of journalists. The state fails to do all it could to protect them and fight the immunity very often enjoyed by those responsible for such violence.- Costa Rica better placed than the United StatesThe poor ranking of the United States (17th) is mainly because of the number of journalists arrested or imprisoned there. Arrests are often because they refuse to reveal their sources in court. Also, since the 11 September attacks, several journalists have been arrested for crossing security lines at some official buildings.The highest-ranked country of the South is Costa Rica, in 15th position. This Central American nation is traditionally the continent’s best performer in terms of press freedom. In February 2002, it ceased to be one of the 17 Latin American states that still give prison sentences to those found guilty of “insulting” public officials. The murder in July 2001 year of journalist Parmenio Medina was an exception in the history of the Costa Rican media.Cuba, the last dictatorship in Latin America, came 134th and is the only country in the region where there is no diversity of news and journalists are routinely imprisoned. In Haiti (106th), journalists are targeted by informal militias whose actions are covered by the government.- Italy gets bad marks in EuropeThe 15 member-countries of the European Union (EU) all score well except for Italy (40th), where news diversity is under serious threat. Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is turning up the pressure on the state-owned television stations, has named his henchmen to help run them and continues to combine his job as head of government with being boss of a privately-owned media group. The imprisonment of journalist Stefano Surace, convicted of press offences from 30 years ago, as well as the monitoring of journalists, searches, unjustified legal summonses and confiscation of equipment, are all responsible for the country’s low ranking.France, in 11th place overall, comes only 8th among EU countries because of several disturbing measures endangering the protection of journalists’ sources and because of police interrogation of a number of journalists in recent months.Among those states hoping to join the EU, Turkey (99th) is very poorly placed. Despite the reform efforts of its government, aimed at easing entry into the EU, many journalists are still being given prison sentences and the media is regularly censored. Press freedom is especially under siege in the southeastern part of the country.Elsewhere in Europe, such as Belarus (124th), Russia (121st) and the former Soviet republics, it is still difficult to work as a journalist and several have been murdered or imprisoned. Grigory Pasko, jailed since December 2001 in the Vladivostok region of Russia, was given a four-year sentence for publishing pictures of the Russian Navy pouring liquid radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan.- The Middle East and Israel’s ambivalent positionNo Arab country is among the top 50. Lebanon only makes 56th place and the press freedom situation in the region is not encouraging. In Iraq (130th) and Syria (126th), the state uses every means to control the media and stifle any dissenting voice. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein especially has set his country’s media the sole task of relaying his regime’s propaganda. In Libya (129th) and Tunisia (128th), no criticism of Col Muammar Kadhafi or President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is tolerated.The political weakening of the Palestinian Authority (82nd) means it has made few assaults on press freedom. However, Islamic fundamentalist opposition media have been closed, several attempts made to intimidate and attack local and foreign journalists and many subjects remain taboo. The aim is to convey a united image of the Palestinian people and to conceal aspects such a demonstrations of support for attacks on Israel.The attitude of Israel (92nd) towards press freedom is ambivalent. Despite strong pressure on state-owned TV and radio, the government respects the local media’s freedom of expression. However, in the West Bank and Gaza, Reporters Without Borders has recorded a large number of violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which guarantees press freedom and which Israel has signed. Since the start of the Israeli army’s incursions into Palestinian towns and cities in March 2002, very many journalists have been roughed up, threatened, arrested, banned from moving around, targeted by gunfire, wounded or injured, had their press cards withdrawn or been deported.- Good and bad examples in AfricaEritrea (132nd) and Zimbabwe (122nd) are the most repressive countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The entire privately-owned press in Eritrea was banned by the government in September 2001 and 18 journalists are currently imprisoned there. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is notable for his especially harsh attitude to the foreign and opposition media.At the other end of the spectrum, Benin is in 21st place despite being classified by the UN Development Programme as one of the world 15 poorest countries. Other African states, such as South Africa (26th), Mali (43rd), Namibia (31st) and Senegal (47th), have genuine press freedom too. News – last_img read more

Update – Postmasters’ Union calls for support as motion is moved on saving Post…

first_img Previous articleCourt told PM and forensics reports not yet available in Derry murder caseNext articleHarps and Derry awarded licence News Highland Pinterest WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter News WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+center_img Facebook The future of Bunbeg Post Office is to be raised in the Dail later this month as part of a motion being moved by the Technical Group.Donegal South West Deputy Thomas Pringle says the motiion will outline how the government can help preserve rural post offices by opening up the possibilty of more banking services, as well as exploring other opportunities.A public consultation on the future of Bunbeg ends at the end of this month, with a petition in the area now containing almost 3,000 names.Yesterday, a group from Bunbeg travelled to Dublin to meet with An Post along with the local Oireachtas members.Deputy Pringle says they made a good case…………[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/pring830.mp3[/podcast]The Irish Postmasters Union is backing calls for the retention of the Bunbeg Post Office, and has launched a campaign calling for support for the the Technical Group motion to be raised at the end of the month.IPU Executive member Tom Callaghan says the government must ask itself a very basic question…….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ipupostofficecampaign.mp3[/podcast] Twitter Update – Postmasters’ Union calls for support as motion is moved on saving Post Offices Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th By News Highland – February 13, 2014 Pinterest 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

Anies slams red tape in pandemic fight

first_imgThe request would then be discussed by an expert team appointed by the health minister, which would approve or deny the request in consultation with COVID-19 fast response team chief Doni Monardo, who also heads the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). Other than regional leaders, the COVID-19 fast response team chief can also submit such a request.The Health Ministry must make a decision within two days after the submission of the request, the regulation says. The PSBB should then be implemented for 14 days, which can be extended if there are still proven cases of transmission. The PSBB covers the closing down of schools and offices, limitations of religious activities, activities in public places, social and cultural events, transportation restrictions and activities related to security and defense.Anies said he had sent a PSBB request to Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto on Wednesday before the ministerial regulation was issued and would wait for an answer instead of sending a new letter. The request was being discussed by the Health Ministry’s team on Sunday afternoon.How Anies held back in coronavirus response (JP/Hengky)According to the government’s official count, there are 2,273 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide as of Sunday, including 1,124 in Jakarta. Ninety-five of the country’s 198 fatalities were recorded in Jakarta.Padjadjaran University epidemiologist Panji Hadisoemarto said the procedure to obtain the PSBB status was “overly bureaucratic”. He feared local administrations would be late in taking necessary measures, as they failed to immediately meet the requirements imposed by the regulation.“The criteria imposed are too restrictive, especially by referring to cases as those confirmed through PCR testing. In practice, it’s very likely that decisions will be made too late, because there’s a bottleneck in our PCR testing,” Panji said.Indonesia has conducted fewer than 10,000 tests using the PCR method so far, a small number that has been attributed to insufficient preparedness on the part of laboratories and a shortage of PCR testing kits. This has caused a backlog in testing, with many patients having to wait for days for their lab results to come back.Read also: Indonesia to receive 50,000 COVID-19 PCR test kits from South KoreaBerry Juliandi of the Indonesian Young Scientists Forum criticized the new regulation that gives the Health Ministry the authority over PSBB policies. “We’ve seen that the health minister has not taken the right measures to contain and mitigate COVID-19 so far,” Berry said.Bayu Dwi Anggono, a legal expert at the University of Jember in East Java, said requiring mayors and regents to consult with governors and also send their request to the latter instead of only to the Health Ministry would only increase paperwork, since the requirement was not stipulated in the 2018 Law on Health Quarantine nor in the 2020 government regulation.The Health Ministry did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.Topics : Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has accused the central government of stonewalling his efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus by issuing a ministerial regulation that prevents him from directly imposing stricter measures to limit people’s mobility.Under pressure to control rising case numbers and fatalities in the capital, Anies strongly criticized the Health Ministry’s new guidelines on large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that include an assessment process and show “no sense of urgency”.“[It’s] as if we are proposing a project that needs a feasibility study,” Anies told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. “Can’t the ministry see that we are facing a rising death toll? Is that not enough?”Earlier this week, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that, in lieu of a regional or national lockdown, regions could enforce physical distancing rules in their fight against COVID-19.According to Government Regulation No. 21/2020 on PSBB, provinces and cities are required to obtain a permit from the Health Ministry to impose the policy. As of Sunday, no region has obtained such a permit.According to a ministerial regulation issued by the Health Ministry on Friday, regional heads who want to enact PSBB have to submit requests alongside data on the increase of cases by also providing an epidemiology curve and a map on the spread of the virus as well as data proving that transmission had already occurred in their region. Cases in question refer to the number of patients under surveillance (PDP) and those having been confirmed through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.Read also: Jakarta, West Java governors doubt central govt COVID-19 figureslast_img read more