Sri Lanka ranked low on press freedom

Sri Lanka has been ranked low in a press freedom index for 2011 released by the U.S based ‘Freedom House’ to mark world press freedom day.

The press freedom ranking has Sri Lanka at 161 out of 192 countries with a status saying the media is not free in the country.

In the Asia/Pacific region Sri Lanka is ranked 33 out of 40 countries just ahead of China, Afghanistan and Laos.

Freedom House said that of the 197 countries and territories assessed during 2011, including the new country of South Sudan, a total of 66 (33.5 percent) were rated Free, 72 (36.5 percent) were rated Partly Free, and 59 (30 percent) were rated Not Free.

This balance marks a shift toward the Partly Free category compared with the edition covering 2010, which featured 68 Free, 65 Partly Free, and 63 Not Free countries and territories.

The analysis found that only 14.5 percent of the world’s inhabitants lived in countries with a Free press, while 45 percent had a Partly Free press and 40.5 percent lived in Not Free environments.

However, after eight years of decline in the global average score, including particularly steep drops in 2007, 2008, and 2009, there was a slight improvement of 0.14 points for 2011. This break from the negative trend was driven by a significant net improvement in the Middle East and North Africa, coupled with a more modest improvement in the Asia-Pacific region.

In terms of thematic categories, the global average score improvement appears to stem from gains primarily in the legal category, and secondarily in the economic category. The political category showed a global decline when compared with the previous year. (Colombo Gazette)