26 Oct 2006

Singapore slips even further in press freedom rankings

Questionnaire for compiling a 2006 world press freedom index

From a regular read of mine... Singapore Patriot
RSF compiled its Index by asking freedom of expression organisations, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists, to answer a survey of 50 questions about press freedom in their countries. The questionnaire covered various challenges faced by journalists ranging from violence and physical threats against them, government restrictions on their work and state control of the media. While Singaporean journalists do not suffer from physical violence like in the Philippines, some of the questions which Singapore scored low on probably included:

14. Improper use of fines, summonses or legal action against journalists or media outlets?

19. Problems of access to public or official information (refusal by officials, selection of information provided according to the media’s editorial line etc)?

26. Censorship or seizure of foreign newspapers?

28. Independent or opposition news media?

29. An official prior censorship body systematically checking all media content?

30. Routine self-censorship in the privately-owned media?

31. Subjects that are taboo (the armed forces, government corruption, religion, the opposition, demands of separatists, human rights etc)?

32. A state monopoly of TV?

33. A state monopoly of radio?

34. A state monopoly of printing or distribution facilities?

35. Government control of state-owned media’s editorial line?

38. Opposition access to state-owned media?

42. Licence needed to start up a newspaper or magazine?

44. Serious threats to news diversity, including narrow ownership of media outlets?

45. A state monopoly of Internet service providers (ISPs)?

46. ISPs forced to filter access to websites?

48. ISPs legally responsible for the content of websites they host?

49. Cyber-dissidents or bloggers imprisoned (how many?)

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