CIMA compiles data on media in countries around the world. This data is drawn from IREX's Media Sustainability Index, Freedom House's Freedom of the Press index, and Reporters Without Borders's Press Freedom Index. We provide a more complete picture of the media in each country by making these three indices comparable, as each survey measures slightly different aspects of press freedom.
Only four of the region’s 49 countries are rated as having free media by Freedom House in its Freedom of the Press 2014 report. The remaining 45 countries were almost evenly split between partly free (22) and not free (23). Reporters Without Borders found that only one country in the region, Namibia, was in a good situation, and five were rated as being in a satisfactory situation. The rest ranged from having noticeable problems to being in difficult situations, with the exceptions of Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, which are rated as very serious situations.
Freedom House finds a generally high level of press freedom in the Asia-Pacific region, but this is partly because Australia and New Zealand are included. Freedom House acknowledges that the “figures disguise considerable sub-regional diversity.” Only five countries in this region (14 percent) are considered to have a press that is not free. The other 30 countries are rated free or partly free. Reporters Without Borders rates no country in the region (again, excluding Australia and New Zealand) as any better than facing noticeable problems. China, Vietnam, and Laos are rated as very serious situations.
This region draws the poorest ratings in the world from Freedom House. No country is rated free, and only two (Georgia and Moldova) are rated partly free. The remaining 10 are rated not free. “It is notable that three of the eight worst press freedom abusers¬—Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan--are found in Eurasia,” Freedom House says. Reporters Without Borders puts four countries in the category of having noticeable problems and all the rest as being in difficult or very serious situations.
Thirteen countries in this region are rated as having a free press by Freedom House. The rest are rated partly free (15 countries) or not free (5 countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, and Mexico). In the view of Reporters Without Borders, only Costa Rica and Jamaica deserve the highest rating among the countries of this region (“good situation”). Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela are considered to be in difficult situations, and Cuba is in a very serious situation.
Only one country in this region, Israel, is rated as having a free press by Freedom House. Reporters Without Borders rates Israel, along with Lebanon, as having noticeable problems. Freedom House puts four countries in this region as partly free category and the remaining 14 in the not free category. Reporters Without Borders points to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen as the countries in the region where the press is in a very serious situation.