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Wealth and press freedom don't always go together As in 2002, the ranking shows that a country's respect for press freedom is not solely linked to its economic development. The top 50 include countries that are among the poorest in the world, such as Benin (29th position), Timor-Leste (30th) and Madagascar (46th).
Conversely, the 50 countries that respect press freedom least include such rich nations as Bahrain (117th) and Singapore (144th).
Special situation of the United States and Israel The ranking distinguishes behaviour at home and abroad in the cases of the United States and Israel. They are ranked in 31st and 44th positions respectively as regards respect for freedom of expression on their own territory, but they fall to the 135th and 146th positions as regards behaviour beyond their borders.
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 behaviour by two nations that never stop stressing their commitment to freedom of expression.
General deterioration in the Arab world The war in Iraq played a major role in an increased crackdown on the press by the Arab regimes. Concerned about maintaining their image and facing public opinion largely opposed to the war, they stepped up control of the press and increased pressure on journalists, who are forced to use self-censorship.
Originally posted by mpcsmith7
germany's not the fascist country it once was you know.
But Australia's lowly ranking came as no surprise after it came under fire in the RSF's 2004 annual
report released earlier this year.
In particular, the watchdog criticised Australia's policies restricting press access to refugees.
It said in the report that the Australian government "continued to prevent journalists from covering
the situation of refugees held in camps on Australian territory or in neighbouring countries".