Taiwan's improved ranking in Reporters Without Borders' 2006 Worldwide Press Freedom Index is a sign that Taiwanese people's achievement in promoting democracy has been recognized and affirmed by most Western countries, Government Information Office Minister Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said yesterday.
The journalists' rights group released its latest annual survey of censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists yesterday.
"Taiwan ranked 43rd this year, up from 51st last year, while Japan is at No. 51 and the US is 53rd. This honor belongs to all my fellow Taiwanese," Cheng said.
Cheng said it was the first time that Taiwan had scored higher than Japan and the US in the survey.
"It is a sign that the democratization process in Taiwan has built up a strong and secure environment for journalists," he said.
China dropped from 159th place last year to 163rd place on this year's index.
"Although there are more news agencies in China, the Chinese authorities are limiting them with strict control mechanisms, and have forced many news agencies to close their doors," Cheng said.
"The survey also reflects how much freedom journalists enjoy in Taiwan," Cheng added.