Another Enviable High Ranking for Belize
One of the things that make a country an attractive place to live, visit and do business in is freedom of the press, and Belize has just ranked very high in this area. Even higher than the United States of America, whose freedom of expression we hold in high regard.
According to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by the well respected international organisation Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières). Belize ranks in the top 15% of the 180 countries it listed and as the second highest in the Caribbean and Central America.
In fact, Belize gets special mention in the organisation’s website:
“This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th).”
An unhindered press and freedom of expression says a lot about a country and its people. It means that citizens aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and government isn’t afraid of people airing their views. A free press is the cornerstone of democracy and a good indicator of a vibrant, confident country.
So when Reporters Without Borders regarded Belize so highly, we had to feel good.
You don’t need to be a writer to enjoy freedom of press. It affects everyone, from decision makers to citizens who are affected by those decisions. The man and woman on the street depend upon a free press to know what’s going on, and how best to cast their votes.
Visitors to a country where transparency is a given will naturally feel more confident and relaxed.
In short, press freedom is an essential part of a free country. And in a relatively new nation such as Belize, which became independent in 1981, this is a big deal.
So here’re some interesting facts about international press freedom, as compiled by Reporters without Borders, to toss around at your next gathering.
The top ten countries are:
9. New Zealand
The Bottom three are:
North Korea (Gosh Kim Jong-un, really?)
Belize ranks at number 29
The United States is number 46, down 13 places since last year
Canada is 18
Mexico comes in at 151
Jamaica is 17
Costa Rica is 21