Freedom of the Press 2012

The improvements in the Arab world were the most significant findings of Freedom of the Press 2012: A Global Survey of Media Independence, an annual index published by Freedom House since 1980. The gains came on the heels of eight consecutive years of decline in the global average press freedom score, a phenomenon that has affected practically every region in the world. Three of the countries with major gains—Burma, Libya, and Tunisia—had for many years endured media environments that were among the world’s most oppressive. Both Libya and Tunisia made single-year leaps of a size practically unheard of in the 32-year history of the report. Furthermore, they were accompanied by positive changes in several key countries outside the Middle East and North Africa: Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Zambia. Other countries that registered progress include Georgia, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo.