WASHINGTON – In response to the release of Reporters Without Borders’ 2014 World Press Freedom Index, Radio Free Asia’s President Libby Liu noted that the survey shows little change in the poor media environments of China, Vietnam, North Korea and Laos, while Cambodia continued on its downward trajectory with heightened press threats in the past year. The survey also cited the slowdown of media reforms in Myanmar threatening the progress made in recent years.
“This year’s index paints a sobering portrait of RFA’s countries as some of the world’s worst for journalism,” Liu said. “In China and Vietnam, an unrelenting crackdown continues on journalists, netizens, and cyberactivists who venture beyond state-controlled media headlines.
“Myanmar, where RFA’s on-the-ground presence has only strengthened over the past several years, continues to show promise but is also at risk of losing ground.
“Of particular concern is the worsening situation in Cambodia, where RFA’s journalists have witnessed firsthand a pattern of intimidation, threats, and unsubstantiated accusations of bias waged by the government. Unfortunately, we anticipate that this pattern will continue.”
The survey ranked North Korea second to last at 179 of the 180 countries researched, with China at 175, Vietnam at 174, and Laos at 171. Cambodia was ranked at 144, with continued signs of deterioration. Myanmar showed slight improvement, ranking at 145 (up from 151 last year).
RFA provides accurate, fact-based news and information via short- and medium-wave radio, satellite transmissions and television, online through the websites of its nine language services, and social media such as Facebook and YouTube, among other widely used platforms in its countries of operation. RFA’s language services are Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, and Uyghur, in China; Myanmar; Khmer (Cambodian); Vietnamese; Lao; and Korean.