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Measuring Democracy: The Journalists-in-Jail Index

In 2005, we have 125 journalists sitting in jail (that we know of).

China, Cuba, Eritrea, and Ethiopia are the world's leading jailers of journalists in 2005, together accounting for two-thirds of the 125 editors, writers, and photojournalists imprisoned around the world, according to a new analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The United States, which is holding journalists in detention centers in Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, rose to sixth among countries jailing journalists, just behind Uzbekistan and tied with Burma, CPJ found.

Is this a good way to measure democracy?

See the numbers here >>


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» Update: Journalists in Jail Index from ChristianSarkar.com
Interesting facts: - there are more online journalists in jail than print journalists. - China leads the world in putting journalists behind bars - Suspected perpetrators in journalist murder cases: * Political groups: 31.2% * Government officials: 18.... [Read More]


Years ago I would have said yes, measuring freedom of the press and intimidation of journalists is the acid test of a democracy.

But today it looks more complex than it once did. Would I measure a lawful society by how many police were jailed? It's established that criminals bribe and coerce officers of the law to further their criminal enterprises.

Is it any different in journalism? I know their screening process is lax. And journalists are every bit as easy to bribe. Reporters get the kind of advance and unfettered access that could further terrorists in their criminal enterprises.

I guess it still depends on my trust in the country who is detaining the journalists. It's not easy to know.

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