Sunday, October 29, 2006

Polish media least free in EU

According, that is, to Reporters Without Borders (RWB). reports that just as France and United States have tumbled down the rankings of 168 countries in the RWB annual world index of press freedom, Poland has slipped down the rankings too, in 2006:

Poland (58th place) comes in at last place among the EU countries. "A journalist [Jerzy Urban, editor of leftwing and anti-church satirical magazine NIE ]was forced to pay a large fine for 'offensive remarks' made against the Pope, a subject that remains taboo", highlighted the press freedom group, which also noted how "an investigative journalist from the satirical weekly magazine 'NIE' [again] faces between three months and five years in jail for refusing to reveal his sources".

Finland, (they are usually top of everything) Iceland and Ireland have the most free press, says the report. On the other hand, North Korea doesn’t have a free press at all.


roman said...

Interesting post and good link.
Poland's place on the list looks OK. Where is the ideal? Is a totally free and unrestrained press the ideal? Eg.. The New York Times printing leaked "secret" NSA investigative techniques meant to uncover terrorist financial bank transactions even after the president asked them not to? That's free.
As I see it, only a couple of places away from the USA is'nt so bad.
Since the USA, IMHO, enjoys a very liberal free press in spite of the governmental paranoia over terror related matters, Poland's rating placement looks favorable.

beatroot said...
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Anonymous said...

Reporters Without Borders (RWB), or perhaps Reporters Without Brains

Is there any possibility that this leftist circle jerk could be allowing their confused ideological position to cloud their judgment? The bottom of the list restates the obvious, but the US in 53rd position, give me a break.

It suggests these idiots have never been exposed to the US media.

This organization’s credibility suffers when it’s steered by a collection of professional bullshit artists that produce the endless stream of biased non-sense the Western European press is so famous for. These people do not grasp the difference between a news article and an editorial.

Another gapping error seems to be France and Botswana he their positions switched on the list.

The respective positions of the US, Poland, Israel and Australia, are clearly not based on reality but rather some sort of nations in disfavour list, that is in disfavour with leftwing liberals.

If there were anything like a requirement for professional integrity associate with journalism, the RWB would be changed to RWJ for Reporters Without Jobs.

I’ll give them this; they weren’t cynical enough to call themselves news reports.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jan Novak (57) for your inciteful criticism of the Reporters Without Borders report. Perhaps you could bring your impressive intellect to bear on the circle-jerking methodological flaws in the Lancet report into the death rate in Iraq too.

beatroot said...

I have to say that I agree with jannovak the 57th. Looking at the list there are some weird collections of countries. The methodology is strange and almost unquantifiable. I am not saying that there have been some disturbing trends in Poland of late, but these ‘ranking lists’ of things…hmmm

And the Lancet report, Ulcer? (Are you interested in doctors because you have a stomach ulcer? )

I am no fan of Iraq war – I was against it before it began – but taking population ‘clusters’ for samples and then applying them to what is the utter chaos of occupied Iraq is dubious, to say the least.

But that does not excuse the occupation. 30,000…...50,000, ....500,000…they all add up to a disaster.

Henry Grodsk said...

Not being an expert in statistics, epidemiology or mortality studies I am inclined to defer to the Lancet. Those who feel up to taking on the question of clusters and so on might want to vist Tim Lambert's blog for some discussion of the methodology.

Reporters Without Borders seem to have drawn up their list by sending out questionnaires. Perhaps American journalists are more bolshy (and, ironically, better-informed) leading to an over reporting of oppression there. One of the RWB questions is: "How many journalists... are currently in jail and serving a heavy sentence (more than a year) for a media-related offence?" You would need to have an efficient, free media to give an accurate answer to this question...

beatroot said...

Perhaps American journalists are more bolshy (and, ironically, better-informed) leading to an over reporting of oppression there.

Thing is, Henry, the US press was much less ‘free’ three or four years ago. That was because of their own craven self-censorship in the years – and it was years - after 9/11. ‘Bolshy’ they were not. ‘Gutless’ might be a better word. The MSM in the US was simply pathetic on those days. Editors were too shit scared to print descenting articles in case it was thought to be ‘unpatriotic’.

Thankfully, a few of those brave journos have woken up. In the last 12 or so months American journalists have started acting like journalists again. And that means the US press is much freer than it was a year ago – contrary to RWB report, which is a load of bull…

Henry Grodsk said...

Well, maybe "bolshy" was the wrong word. How about "whiney"?

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

A good example, because of his status, is Bob Woodward. I read his first two books on 'Bush goes to war' and they were arse licking rubbish. But with his third book he has got some 'distance' back.

So that's a positive thing and means that US journos are starting to do their job again. So I can't agree with RWB. The US media is now more free now than it was.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. media is more free now than it was? It is still ranked 53rd in press freedom, DOWN a few places from last year. They still don't ask any of the real questions that need asking. If America had anything resembling a free press then at least one of the "journalists" would have had bollocks enough to ask Bush at a press conference "Ummm, Mr. President, how do you feel about the R.I.C.O. lawsuit that has been filed against you and your administration by former World Trade Center janitor William Rodriguez? You know, the guy that since then has been getting death threats and is basically afraid to leave his home now thanks to your thugs?"

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