The poor state of press freedom is stunting social progress in Southeast Asia

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released their annual ranking of the global state of press freedom earlier this month and Countries in Southeast Asia did poorly—none of the 11 countries in the ASEAN bloc scored above RSF’s “difficult situation” designation.

RSF ranks countries based on a questionnaire given to media professionals, lawyers and sociologists that focuses on media independence, self-censorship, legislative frameworks and other indicators. RSF then places countries on a five-rank scale depending on their overall score. The five categories range from a “good” media situation on the positive end of the scale to “very serious” on the negative end.

Out of the 180 countries ranked, the only Southeast Asian country in the top 100 was Timor-Leste, an ASEAN observer state. Vietnam ranked lowest in the region at 175, earning RSF’s worst rating. Singapore and Laos were also included in this designation of countries with the worst press freedom in the world.

Keep reading

Zachary Frye