Israel's press status downgraded to 'partly free'

Report maintains that Operation Cast Lead created "increased travel restrictions on both Israeli and foreign reporters."

May 3, 2009 01:01
1 minute read.
Israel's press status downgraded to 'partly free'

reporters on the job 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel's press status has been downgraded from "free" to "partly free" in a report released on Friday by non-profit organization Freedom House, ahead of World Press Freedom Day today. The paper, titled "Freedom of the Press 2009," which reports a global decline in press freedom during 2008 - a seven-year downward trend - points to the conflict in Gaza as accounting for Israel's relegation. The report maintains that Operation Cast Lead created "increased travel restrictions on both Israeli and foreign reporters; official attempts to influence media coverage within Israel; and heightened self-censorship and biased reporting, particularly amid the outbreak of war in late December." Freedom House annually assigns each country a numerical rating between 1 and 100: 0 indicating the most free and 100 the least. This year's report assigned Israel a rating of 31, making it "partly free," and ranked it joint 59th internationally. The ranking was a slight drop from last year, when Israel's press was marked "free," with a rating of 30. The report also categorized the "occupied territories/Palestinian Authority" as "not free," as it did last year, with a rating of 84, ranking it 181st in the world. Although Israel was the only country in the region rated "free" last year, Israel's press remains tops in the Middle East and North Africa category. Kuwait appears second, also classified as "partly free," with a 55 rating. The region is consistently reported to have the worst average press freedom in the world. The paper indicates that there were twice as many loses as gains in 2008 and that, for the first time, declines have occurred in every region. Of the 195 countries and territories assessed in the study, 70 counties (36 percent) were rated "free," 61 countries (31%) were rated "partly free" and 64 countries (33%) were rated "not free." In terms of population, just 17% of the world's population live in countries that enjoy a "free" press, while 41% have a "partly free" press and 42% have a press classified as "not free." The world's worst-rated countries include Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea and Turkmenistan. In these states, says the study, "independent media are either non-existent or barely able to operate, and citizens' access to unbiased information is severely limited."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town