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Top 10 countries with highest press freedom

Top 10 countries with highest press freedom

by Roman on June 15, 2008

Bad news is good news for media companies  – it sells way more than positive stuff.

Writing about negative things can have a positive impact – it makes it more difficult for these things to happen in the future. If a newspaper exposes wide spread corruption it is almost certain that the officials involved will lose their positions.

Giving journalists the freedom to write about whatever they want ensures that in the long run the country they live in will have a better business environment which is good for sustained economic growth.

Reporters Without Borders is a world wide organization that stands for press freedom across the world. They also manage the Worldwide Press Freedom Index that lists the countries of the world by their press freedom.

Top 10 countries with free press in the world

1 – Iceland
2 – Norway
3 – Estonia
4 – Slovakia
5 – Belgium
6 – Finland
7 – Sweden
8 – Denmark
9 – Ireland
10 – Portugal

Other notable countries

Canada – 18th place

Germany – 20th place

United Kingdom – 24th place

USA – 48th place

Russia – 144th place

Map of press freedom

On the freedom of press map below green indicates the countries with highest press freedom and red lowest press freedom is a true believer of press freedom, so we are very delighted to see Estonia (this is where we run our business) ranking in the 3rd position.

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Komodo Dragon June 16, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Do you know where I can find the original list? I would like to see where Brazil ranks.

Maria June 16, 2008 at 4:11 pm

The link to the original list is in this post (click on Worldwide Press Freedom Index ). Brazil is #84.

Roman June 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Thanks Maria for helping our readers out! 🙂

Komodo Dragon June 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm

wooops lol, thank you!

Nick June 17, 2008 at 11:20 pm

I wonder what kind of criteria they used and how they evaluated everything. I’m sure it was a complex process, I just find the results a bit eye-opening.

Roman June 18, 2008 at 10:42 am

You can read a bit more at

It doesn’t describe the criteria exactly, but it gives a good overview.
They have offices across a lot of countries that gather the necessary information!

Nick June 25, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Thanks, I will have to check that out

Hey! Arnold August 22, 2008 at 10:31 am

I think you’ve forgotten Africa in this issue. My country GH has a press freedom and they causing chaos sometimes. I’ll say making money outta us, sometimes producing false infos.

Silo December 28, 2008 at 12:05 am

Yeah proudly Norwegian, we respect human rights a lot, even the gays, but honestly i don’t like it there!!

Vincent January 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Thank you for your nice site, Roman.

When I was in the USA, I noticed I could not discuss politics in a bar. It almost got me arrested! Since I spoke about it with some people, I was told “As an American you cannot be against your own country”, nor as a visitor I noticed. I was told about people being visited by the police for questioning, because they shared their opinion on politics in public.

Remember the views of EU’s newspapers by US residents during the Iraq invasion; Americans demanded the read the complete and true news and got it from news sources outside the US. Searching “Propaganda US” gives a nice overview what is published a lot by the US media. The more propaganda in the media, the more it is controlled by the government. So I’m sure #48 is a bit optimistic.

For my own country, the Netherlands, the media has taken power during a weak period of our government, which they don’t want to give back. The media is moreover used as a way to discuss unimportant issues; Media-anarchy to me. Freedom Of Press is possibly a dangerous power, if concentrated and well organized!

Also remember the situation in Italy, where the prime minister runs the media too. The press can criticize anything except politics. Comparable with the US under Bush jr.

So what is freedom of press? You really have to weight “Power of the press” and “Propaganda” too. But can we measure this?

The discussion about the press is important and I hope you write more about it. Or I will. 🙂

Roman January 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Wow – thanks for a really insightful comment, Vincent!

BobbyFlat November 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm


While I can agree with you that the American press is surely not what it used to be, or started out to be, there are still some media channels that try to offer the true story.

I can assure you that you will not get arrested in the US for talking politics in a bar. You may get shunned by people that don’t agree with you, hell, you may even get in a fight over it (and that may land you in jail), but being arrested for simply talking politics would be a direct violation of the constitution. Any lawyer worth his salt would easily have any charge related to an arrest like that thrown out of court. Not to mention the law suite you would have for false arrest and false imprisonment.

No matter what people tell you in the media, America is still a free country (for now anyway). The government is growing larger – by the day it seems – and our rights are starting to become infringed. However, it’s never too late for the people to take their government back. Government here is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and I believe it will be again.

IVAN March 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

what is the rank of india …
india has press freedom too…

Roman March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Ivan – India is number 120. So there is still some way to go in regard of press freedom.

Collins October 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Oh my God!What happened to USA & Italy?I can see you are just joking.Do your research well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jonathan Raneses November 23, 2009 at 11:05 pm

i feel philippines should be up there!!!!:)

Singaporeboi December 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Hey, where is Singapore???

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