Zambia has tumbled four places on the latest standings on the Press Freedom Index for 2011/2012. Zambia has now dropped to the 86th position out of 178 worldwide countries.
Zambia has also been placed on the ‘NOTICEABLE PROBLEMS’ category by Reporters without borders.
Last year, Zambia was ranked number 82 out of 178 countries ranked.
Other countries in the same category of noticeable problems with Zambia are Chad, Mongolia, Cambodia, India Angola, Bolivia and Japan.
Cape Verde, Tanzania, Mali, South Africa, Ghana and Burkina Faso are the only African countries with a satisfactory press freedom situation
The highest ranked African country is Cape Verde in ninth place following their peaceful democratic elections last year. Eritrea placed last in the world in 179th place. Sudan was second worst in Africa in 170th place and Egypt placed 166th.
The complete Top Ten with scores are: Finland (-10.00), Norway (-10.00), Estonia (-9.00), Netherlands (-9.00), Austria (-8.00), Iceland (-7.00), Luxembourg (-7.00), Switzerland (-6.20), Cape Verde (-6.00), Canada (-5.67) and Denmark (-5.67).
It was Africa that also saw the biggest falls in the index. Djibouti, a discreet little dictatorship in the Horn of Africa, fell 49 places to 159th. Malawi (146th) fell 67 places because of the totalitarian tendencies of its president, Bingu Wa Mutharika. Uganda, mentioned above, fell 43 places to 139th. Finally, Côte d’Ivoire fell 41 places to 159th because the media were badly hit by the fighting between the supporters of rival presidents Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.
Commenting generally on rankings, Reporters without Borders said:
“Crackdown was the word of the year in 2011. Never has freedom of information been so closely associated with democracy. Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous. The equation is simple: the absence or suppression of civil liberties leads necessarily to the suppression of media freedom. Dictatorships fear and ban information, especially when it may undermine them.