The 2005 World Press Freedom Index
By UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- North Korea once again ranks last in the fourth annual World Press Freedom Index, and the United States drops more than 20 places on this 167-country list.
In the just-released report by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, North Korea is in last place in respecting freedom of the press, closely preceded by Eritrea (166) and Turkmenistan (165).
Journalists working for "official" media in countries where freedom of the press is non-existent are little more than mouthpieces for government propaganda, the organization said. Those who step out of line are harshly dealt with. Even a misspelled name, and the author may be thrown in prison or incur the wrath of those in power. Harassment, psychological pressure, intimidation and 24-hour surveillance are routine, it added.
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