Reporters Without Borders: Again Cuba’s “Freedom of the Press” is the Worst in the Henmisphere

No surprises here. Once again, Cuba unfortunately comes last in the Hemisphere in a ranking regarding human rights. In this case. Reporters without Borders annual Freedom of the Press Report for 2011 comes to the conclusion that observers of Cuba are familiar with, namely that freedom of expression in Cuba exists only in the minds of the members of the Politburo of the  Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

The full report can be found here: Reporters without Borders, Press Freedom Index, 2011-2012. The Website for the Report is here: The Reporters without Borders coverage on Cuba is here: Cuba Page.

Below is a quick summary of the methodology used by RWB for the calculation of its index.

“The ranking reflects the situation during a specific period. This year’s index takes account of events between 1 December 2010 and 30 November 2011. It does not look at human rights violations in general, just press freedom violations.

To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders prepared a questionnaire with 44 main criteria indicative of the state of press freedom. It asks questions about every kind of violation directly affecting journalists and netizens (including murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment). And it establishes the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these press freedom violations. It also measures the level of self-censorship in each country and the ability of the media to investigate and criticize. Financial pressure, which is increasingly common, is also assessed and incorporated into the final score.

The questionnaire takes account of the legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offences, the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public media. It also reflects violations of the free flow of information on the Internet.

Reporters Without Borders has taken account not only of abuses attributable to the state, but also those by armed militias, clandestine organizations and pressure groups.”


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