Hong Kong trips again in global press freedom ranking

April 30, 2015 14:57
A journalist (inset, left) is arrested during last year's protests while an RTHK reporter (inset, middle) is shown before being attacked at a pro-establishment convention. Copies of Apple Daily are smudged with soy sauce (inset right). Photos: Apple

Hong Kong has plummeted nine places in a ranking of 199 countries on press freedom.

The 2015 Freedom House global press freedom league table puts Hong Kong at No. 83, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

Hong Kong is only partly free, the social concern group said, citing last year's pro-democracy protests in which advertisers boycotted some newspapers and some journalists were assaulted or arrested.

It described the incidents as a "backward step" for press freedom.

It's the fifth straight year Hong Kong has fallen in the ranking, putting it behind Taiwan, Japan and South Korea this year.

Sham Yee-lan, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, said self-censorship in the mass media is more serious and 2014 was the toughest for Hong Kong media workers.

She said Hong Kong people should heed the warning signs or risk further erosion of press freedom.

China, which Freedom House said has no press freedom, checked in at No. 186 and North Korea brought up the rear.

Ranked highest were Norway, Sweden and Belgium.

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