Taiwan ranked 43rd in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released April 17 by France-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), underscoring the country's ongoing efforts to promote media independence while ensuring a safe environment for members of the press.
On a scale of 0 to 100, with zero the best possible result, Taiwan scored 23.86, an increase of 0.1 points from the previous edition. This placed it among the 27 percent considered to have “good” or “fairly good” media environments in the annual survey of 180 countries and territories.
The country finished second in Asia behind South Korea, 42nd, but ahead of Japan, 67th; Hong Kong, 80th; Malaysia, 119th; Singapore, 160th; and China, 177th. The top three spots worldwide went to Norway, Finland and Sweden, in that order.
According to RSF, while political interference is rare and less tolerated in Taiwan, a polarized media landscape dominated by sensationalism and the pursuit of profit presents a challenge to news coverage.
This year’s report also shows that journalism is totally blocked or seriously constrained in 73 percent of the countries evaluated, the RSF said. The data also reflects a dramatic deterioration in people's access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage.
Published annually since 2002, the index assesses countries and territories based on environment and self-censorship, infrastructure quality, legal framework, media independence, pluralism and transparency.
First included in the survey in 2013 with a ranking of 47th, Taiwan moved to 50th and 51st in 2014 and 2015, respectively. It remained 51st in 2016 before improving to 45th in 2017 and 42nd in both 2018 and 2019. (SFC-E)
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