Australia plummets in press freedom index

Australia has fallen 12 places in a league table of press freedom – and now trails the UK, despite the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

The France-based Reporters Without Borders index cited the Australian government’s media inquiry as the reason for the drop.

Australia now ranks 30th, one place behind Niger. The UK fell from 19th to 28th spot.

New Zealand, usually in the top ten, fell to 13th.


  1. Dan
    30 Jan 12
    10:11 am

  2. “In Australia (30th), the media were subjected to investigations and criticism by the authorities, and were denied access to information”.

    So the Australian media were criticised and some of their actiions were investigated. To me, that has all the hallmarks of democracy. And “denied access to information”. What information? This report does not say, so a bit hard to judge.

    At least we have the freedom to criticise and exercise that freedom. I’d suggest there are a few countries ahead of us where the media is so timid, the authorities never need to go after journalists.

  3. Les
    30 Jan 12
    11:11 am

  4. Dan asks, ” ‘denied access to information’. What information?”

    Just try to find accurate information about the state of climate science in the Murdoch media, and our opinionated but scientifically-challenged shock jocks.

  5. Ricki
    30 Jan 12
    11:16 am

  6. I tried to find clarity on how many respondents determine the rankings based on the survey, but somewhat ironically, this isn’t made clear on the site. Neither is it clear who the respondents represent and across what percentage of the market etc. to determine if it is a valid sample.

    Its also interesting to look at the questionaire used as a base for the index (link attached)

    …then that data is somehow fused with other ‘issues’, not well defined.

    On that basis, I think most of us could draw a pretty different conclusion to “Australia plumments in press freedom index”. My headline would be something like “Journalists without Borders need lesson in collection of reportable data”.