On this newscast, we always tell you about world ranking for various indicators: from corruption and transparency to ease of doing business - and usually Belize is bringing up the rear. But not so tonight. Belize is ranked 29th in Press Freedom - second highest in Central America and the Caribbean - and in the top 15% of the 180 ranked countries.
It's also significantly higher than the United States which ranks 46th and Mexico which ranks 151st. At 29, Belize joins Jamaica, which is 17th, Canada which is 18th, Costa Rica which is 21st, Uruguay which is 26th as the only five countries from the Western Hemisphere in the top 30.
This is the first year Belize has been listed in the ranking and the press release from Reporters Without Borders says, quote:
"The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies."
Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, followed by Netherlands and Norway. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. Channel 7