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Freedom House: Press no longer free in Italy, Hong Kong, and Israel

Freedom House: Press no longer free in Italy, Hong Kong, and Israel

Freedom House released its Freedom of the Press report for 2009 today. The report shows declines in press freedom in every region of the world. Here are the complete rankings.

The worst offenders are all usual suspects, but I suspect the most attention will be garnered by the three countries that slipped from "free" to "partly free": Israel, Italy, and Hong Kong. Here’s the explanation on Israel from the report’s overview essay:

Israel, the only country in the [Middle East] to be consistently rated Free, moved into the Partly Free range due to the heightened conflict in Gaza, which triggered increased travel restrictions on both Israeli and foreign reporters; official attempts to influence media coverage of the conflict within Israel; and greater self- censorship and biased reporting, particularly during the outbreak of open war in late December.