Reporters sans Frontiers has issued its 2007 Annual Report on Press Freedom and Indonesia has improved its position, ranking only behind Hong Kong and Camodia (?) as the country with the most free press. Malaysia, of course, slipped to 124, partly because of its crackdown on bloggers.
Even so Reporters sans Frontiers weren’t without criticism of SBY:

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made statements in favour of press freedom but took no significant steps towards any improvement. On the contrary, the government tried to restore its control over the granting of broadcast licences and a new anti-terror law gave security forces very wide powers.

Pluralism of news and information continued to develop in the world’s most populous Muslim country, which boasts at least 700 publications and 1,200 radio stations, as well a score of local and national TV channels. Enthusiasm for electronic media has led to the launch of hundreds of pirate radio and TV channels which the government struggles to regulate

The Constitution and the press law guarantee freedom of expression, and in December, a constitutional court edict decriminalised “insult to the head of state”. Unfortunately, the still archaic criminal code continues to allow prison sentences for press offences.

Sadly, journalists still suffer violence in some regions. ..

Needless to say Burma and China were at the bottom of the list.

clipped from

61 Hong-Kong 20,00
85 Cambodia 25,33
100 Indonesia 30,50
120 India 39,33
124 Malaysia 41,00
128 Philippines 44,75
135 Thailand 53,50
141 Singapore 56,00
164 Burma 93,75

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2 thoughts on “Indonesia on the up and up where Press Freedom is concerned

  1. As far as Press Freedom is concerned, we are on a diving expedition brother. The aim is one: to search for rock bottom.

    While I’m always skeptical when presented with findings such as RSF’s Press Freedom Index (because many things are subjective and those people doing the surveys sometimes rely too much on a limited number of sources), they generally give you an idea of how things actually are. With the PF Index, I was actually taken aback by the fact that Malaysia was 92nd in 2006, especially given that a lot of things happened, including the closure of a couple of newspapers.

    I don’t expect things to be looking up soon fro Malaysia. In good time, however, some leaders will grow up and feel less threatened by the new media, especially bloggers. I see blogging as a possible short-cut for Malaysia to achieve greater freedom of the press, so once blogging is accepted by the government (which should happen with a change in leadership), Indonesia shall find itself in its traditional position, which is behind Malaysia.


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