Five things to know about Freedom House's latest global rankings

Freedom House, the New York-based watchdog on political and press freedoms, issued a report that ranks 197 countries according to their relative freedom, based on legal, political, and economic factors. Following the Arab uprisings, there has been significant improvement in the traditionally repressive Middle East region, and some sharp deterioration in the Americas. But social media and citizen journalism could still be game changers, worldwide.

1. The worst still the worst

The same eight worst countries – Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – have had repressive rules on free expression for a very long time. Keep moving folks, nothing to see here. 

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