TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan remained at No. 43 on the 2021 World Press Freedom Index announced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Tuesday (April 20), ranking between South Korea and the United States.
Out of 180 countries surveyed, China ranked at No. 177, while Japan fell one spot to No. 67 and Hong Kong remained at No. 80. The list was headed by northern European countries, with Norway occupying the top spot, followed by Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. The first non-European country, Costa Rica, came at No. 5 .
New Zealand was the highest-ranking country from the Asia Pacific, listed as eighth, with Samoa at No. 21 and Australia at No. 25.
RSF said the COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by “a dramatic deterioration in people’s access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage.”
“Journalism, the main vaccine against disinformation, is completely or partly blocked in 73 percent of the 180 countries” on the latest index, the France-based organization said.
China was colored black on the index map as one of the worst countries for press freedom due to its “unprecedented levels” of propaganda, surveillance, and censorship.