Press freedom still highest in Finland, Iceland drops

The freedom of journalists in Iceland went down a little last year compared to the year before, according to the new World Press Freedom Index, which is published annually about press freedom in 180 countries around the world.

The list is compiled each year by a committee of around 130 broadcast and press journalists. In 2010 Iceland was ranked second, after Finland — but this year the country has fallen to sixth on the list. It shares the position with Luxembourg. No explanation has been given for Iceland’s slight fall; but court cases against journalists last year are likely reasons, Vísir.is reported.

In the years 2007 and 2008, before the financial crisis, Iceland was ranked as having the freest press in the world.

Finland keeps the top spot this year and shares it with Norway. Estonia, Austria and the Netherlands are all ahead of Iceland on this year’s list.

Countries including North Korea, Syria and Iran come bottom in the Index.

The fact that both the USA and the UK have dropped down the list has caused raised eyebrows in those countries. The USA dropped from 20th to 47th and Britain fell from 19th to 28th. The harsh measures taken against the Occupy movement in the USA and the UK’s phone tapping scandal are thought to be the main reasons.