…at 40th, Samoa is ranked ahead of the United States, Italy, South Korea and South Africa..

As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3rd May 2014, Samoa has had its highest showing on the just-released 2014 World Press Freedom Index.

Compiled by global group Reporters Without Borders, Samoa moves up eight notches from last year’s ranking to 40th of 180 countries surveyed.

It is the highest ranked country in the Pacific Islands region.

Asked for comment, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said;
“I’ve always said Samoa is the free-est in terms of press freedom in the region. Now this latest international publication has shown just that.”

Particularly impressive is the fact that Samoa is polled ahead of other beacons of democracy such as the United States (46th), South Africa (42nd), Italy (49th) and South Korea (57th).
Neighbors Papua New Guinea is ranked 44th, Tonga at 63rd and Fiji at 107th.

The Index, according to Reporters Without Borders, ‘reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom’.

The information is sent through to Borders from NGOs, and the countries are scored in terms of;

  • Pluralism – measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media,
  • Media Independence – measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities,
  • Environment and self-censorship – analyses the environment in which journalists work,
  • Legislative framework – analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness,
  • Transparency – measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information,
  • Infrastructure – Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information
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