Thailand’s press freedom ranking improves this year
Thailand’s global press freedom ranking has improved, as the country ranks 115 out of 180 countries in this year’s World Press Freedom index, a jump from 137 in 2021.
Countries with the greatest press freedom, according to the rankings, are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Finland. While countries at the bottom of the list are Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Iran, Eritrea and North Korea.
Despite Thailand’s improved rankings, Reporters Without Borders explained that the country’s media landscape is highly “polarised”. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s vision of how the media should “play a major role in supporting the government’s affairs” reflects the tough situation that journalists face.
The report also mentioned that some lower profile media, which try to provide a different point of view, often end up being targeted by authorities, unlike mainstream media, which “toe the government line”.
Reporters Without Borders also noted that press freedom in the Asia-Pacific region has deteriorated dramatically. One notable example was the military coup in Myanmar, which became the world’s “largest prison” for journalists.
Media outlets are also being pressured by authoritarian governments, with some outspoken journalists, such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, becoming targets of intense harassment.
Among ASEAN countries, Malaysia has the highest ranking at 113, followed by Indonesia (117), Singapore (139), Cambodia (142), Brunei (144), the Philippines (147), Laos (161), Vietnam (174) and Myanmar (176).