Having done my bit to enforce rigid standards of political correctness in the media, it behooves me to highlight that the Freedom House has published their annual Global Press Freedom Rankings for 2007. Here's the top three:
1. Finland 9How do ya you like 'em apples, Belgium?! Suomi! Suomi! Suomi!
= Iceland 9
3. Belgium 11
= Denmark 11
= Norway 11
= Sweden 11
Freedom House now rates all EU countries as "free". Italy was the last holdout in the "partly free" category, but according to the by-country reports (PDF) "[w]hile the private broadcast media in Italy is still concentrated in the hands of the Berlusconi-dominated Mediaset, the public broadcaster, RAI, is no longer under his control."
On the negative side, quoth Freedom House:
The study also noted a longer-term trend of press freedom decline or stagnation in a number of crucial countries and regions, particularly the Americas and the former Soviet Union. In assessing country trends over the past five years, the survey found that Venezuela had suffered the largest single decline in media independence. Other important countries which registered major declines were Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, Argentina, Ethiopia and Uganda. [...]So that's a bummer.
The five worst-rated countries continue to be Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, and Turkmenistan. In these states, which are scattered across the globe, independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the ruling regime, and citizens' access to unbiased information is severely limited. The numerical scores for these five countries have barely changed in relation to the previous year, reflecting a level of extreme repression and stagnation for the media.