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5 big losers in press freedom: Mali and ... Japan?

The annual World Press Freedom Index released today shows gains for Myanmar and others. Japan tumbled due to an informal ban placed on independent coverage of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Here are five of the notable winners and losers on this year’s list.

#53: Japan

Japan had Asia’s sharpest decline in the index, sliding from 22nd to 53rd place in the world. Despite a robust media climate overall in the country, RSF sounded alarm bells over an informal ban placed on independent coverage of subjects related to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.

The organization reported that several freelance journalists who pushed back against the restrictions had been subject to “censorship, police intimidation, and judicial harassment.” Japan’s media also suffered from a more general insularity, RSF reported, where elite press clubs made it difficult for non-members to gain access to crucial information and reporting opportunities.

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