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The Netherlands has the 2nd most press freedom in the world01 February 2013, by Carly Blair
The Netherlands is 2nd in the world in terms of freedom of the press, according to a ranking of 179 countries around the world made by the organisation Reporters Without Borders.
The Netherlands rose from 3rd place last year. It typically ranks high in the index, and ranked 1st in 2006. Finland maintained its first place position for the 3rd year in a row, while Norway came in 3rd.
Meanwhile, the bottom 3 countries are the same as last year: Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea, on account of their totalitarian control of the media and mistreatment of journalists. Syria, Somalia, Iran, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Sudan, and Yemen complete the bottom 10.
Many criteria are taken into account when preparing the ranking, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists, but democratic countries tend to occupy the top of the index while dictatorial countries tend to occupy the last three positions.
According to Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire, "It is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted.”
European countries still occupy 16 out of the top 30 positions in the ranking. However, Europe's reputation as a stronghold for press freedom is disintegrating, according to Reporters Without Borders, since governments in Italy, Hungary, and Greece all recently enacted legislation which negatively affects journalists.
Reporters Without Borders is an association founded by journalists in 1985 which advocates for freedom of the press and provides assistance to persecuted journalists as well as those assigned to work in dangerous regions.
You can read the full report and find out more about Reporters Without Borders here.