Radio Free Asia Responds to 2010 Press Freedom Index

2010-10-20
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 20, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in response to the release of Reporters Without Borders’ 2010 World Press Freedom Index, Radio Free Asia’s President Libby Liu said the findings underscore the lack of free media and free speech in Asia, and their continuing downward trend.  The survey, which rates media freedoms in 178 countries, ranked five of RFA’s broadcast countries – North Korea, Burma, China, Laos and Vietnam –  in the bottom tenth of the world’s worst places for journalism. Also, Cambodia, RFA’s sixth broadcast country, posted its poorest showing in the annual survey since it began in 2002.

"Free speech and free media continue to deteriorate in the countries to which Radio Free Asia provides reliable news and information on a daily basis,” Liu said. “While we hope our work at RFA encourages emerging traditions in journalism to take root, governments in many Asian countries continue to censor news, intimidate reporters, and restrict access to media – on the airwaves, in print, and online.

“This year’s World Press Freedom Index is a sober reminder of how dire this situation remains in Asia and much of the world.”

In the survey, North Korea was ranked second to last at 177; Burma, 174; China, 171; Laos, 168; and Vietnam, 165. Since Reporters Without Borders began the survey, these five countries have consistently been ranked in the bottom 10 percent in all consecutive eight indices. Notably, Cambodia, which rose to 117 in last year’s survey, fell to the 128th place this year – its lowest rank ever. All six countries within RFA’s broadcast region were categorized as “Not Free” in Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press survey, which was released in April.

RFA provides accurate, fact-based news happening in these countries and information via short- and medium-wave radio, satellite transmissions, and online through the websites of its nine language services. They are RFA Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, Uyghur, Burmese, Khmer (Cambodian), Vietnamese, Lao, and Korean.

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