About 'Freedom of the Press'

2015 Freedom of the Press data

Each country and territory receives a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which serves as the basis for a status designation of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

Freedom House has been at the forefront in monitoring threats to media independence since 1980. A free press plays a key role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good government, and economic development. Most importantly, restrictions on media are often an early indicator that governments intend to assault other democratic institutions.

According to Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press index, only 14 percent of the world's citizens live in countries that enjoy a free press. In the rest of the world, governments as well as non-state actors control the viewpoints that reach citizens and brutally repress independent voices who aim to promote accountability, good governance, and economic development.

The Freedom of the Press index, an annual survey of media independence in 199 countries and territories, is at the core of Freedom House's press freedom project. The annual index contains the most comprehensive data set available on global media freedom and is a key resource for scholars, policymakers, international institutions, media, and activists. The index assesses the degree of print, broadcast, and internet freedom in every country in the world, analyzing the events of each calendar year. It provides numerical rankings and rates each country's media as "Free," "Partly Free," or "Not Free." Country narratives examine the legal environment for the media, political pressures that influence reporting, and economic factors that affect access to information.

Freedom House's historical data, spanning a time frame from 1980 to the present, is the most comprehensive data on global media freedom available and is a key resource for scholars, policymakers, and international institutions.

Freedom of the Press Supporters

The extensive work undertaken to produce Freedom of the Press was made possible by the generous support of the Jyllands-Posten Foundation and the Hurford Foundation. Freedom House also gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Lilly Endowment, the Schloss Family Foundation, the Stichting Democratie & Media, Free Press Unlimited, the Fritt Ord Foundation, the Reed Foundation, Leonard Sussman and the Sussman Freedom Fund, Ambassador Victor Ashe, and other private contributors.

Category Breakdown Data 1980-2015
Scores and Status Data 1980-2015
Detailed Data and Sub-Scores 1980-2015


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