Sun, Apr 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan No. 39 in media freedom: Freedom House

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s global press freedom ranking improved this year, moving up six notches from last year to 39th place, the sixth-best performance by any Asian nation, according to an annual report released on Friday by Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights advocacy group.

In Asia, Taiwan was only outranked by Palau, the freest nation in the region, followed by the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Micronesia and Australia.

Taiwan scored 1 out of 7 for both political rights and civil liberties, achieving a “freedom rating” of 1, the highest score, the Freedom in the World report said.

Each nation’s score is based on two ratings — one for political rights and one for civil liberties — with 1 representing the highest level of freedom and 7 the least. The freedom rating of a nation is determined based on the average of its political rights and civil liberties.

“Taiwan’s civil liberties rating improved from 2 to 1 due to demonstrations of media independence and academic freedom in recent years, including in media coverage of the 2016 elections,” Freedom House said.

Japan came in eighth in the Asian region, while South Korea, which was considered “partly free” by Freedom House, ranked 15th.

China was classified as “not free” and was ranked 39th in Asia, and 186th in the world.

The Freedom House report said that investigative journalism and liberal commentary continued to shrink last year under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), who assumed the presidency in 2012.

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