Monday, October 27

I previously pointed out that South Africa ranks 21st i.t.o Press freedom, ahead of the United Kingdom, France and the US. The more I think on this however, the more unreal this becomes.

South Africa's media is generally ok, and its free from overt political pressure (tension between government and media is a good thing for me, and we have plenty of tension). It is not nearly as good as the news sources found in the developed world however.

(I read the Washington Post if I want to know what is going on in the world. If I want to know that a girls Matric dress was shockingly revealing and the head mistress wouldn't post it on the general school notice board then I'd read the Cape Times. The Cape Times printed the picture on the front page however. The head mistress was right. I don't want too know this. )

Why does Reporters without borders publish such a list however? Are they objective in publishing such a list?
even former East bloc countries are ahead of even South Africa on this list. Make sense? How is it compiled?

According to RWB:
To compile this ranking, Reporters Without Borders asked journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists to fill out a questionnaire evaluating respect for press freedom in a particular country.

Scientific? Probable not, but ok. It is probable reasonable.

The first thing mentioned however when reading the report is; United States and Israel singled out for actions beyond their borders

The reason for this singling out (given much later) is:
The Israeli army's repeated abuses against journalists in the occupied territories and the US army's responsibility in the death of several reporters during the war in Iraq constitute unacceptable behavior by two nations that never stop stressing their commitment to freedom of expression.

And voila! We have the rationale behind this list. RWB chooses to use this ranking to put political pressure on 'certain' countries. It does not wish to advance the right of journalist with this list, but to lambast the West for their 'perceived' short comings.

It does this even when lambasting the worst regimes.
The war in Iraq played a major role in an increased crackdown on the press by the Arab regimes.

Wow! A major role! Until you find out these countries are pretty much in the same place they were before the war. (Not quite. Kuwait, where American troops were stationed during the build up to the war, has now become the Arab country with the most press freedom. Iraq(124) is more free then the American occupied territory of Iraq strangely enough).

I don't think South Africa can take much pride in this list, when we morally should have troops in Zimbabwe being rude to Western journalists.


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