a few moments ago, i checked the breaking news section of inq7 and i found an article where lee kuan yew dismissed singapore's low rank in the press freedom index, published annually by the reporters without borders. he explained that there is nothing in singapore that you cannot read. i took an immediate interest in the article because i lived in singapore for a very short while, and will be visiting the city-state again next month. i tended to agree with the index in its description of singapore, and the general perception that press people are generally given less freedom in that country. then i thought about how the philippines fared in the survey. and to my shock, i found my country no more than 2 places ahead of singapore.
i found this utterly unbelievable, and then i realized that the ranking is the result of a survey of journalists and other persons involved in issues of press freedom. the low score does not accurately show the amount of press freedom we enjoy relative to those of other countries in the ranking. but rather, it is a general perception of those affected by regulations of the right to free expression. i have never really felt that we are anywhere near singapore in this sense because i do not feel constrained, and i have never really felt that i didn't have access to certain information because of curtailment. trouble is, our own journalists are themselves giving this impression to the world, because looking at previous indexes, the philippines didn't fare better.
but then it's not my place to say this, one reason why the survey didn't include me at all. the nearest i got to being involved in press freedom was when i wrote for the college paper. it just feels awful to be regarded as a place where little freedom is allowed, when to my mind, the freedom of expression is well-exercised here, and i can compare my own views to my experience outside the country. of course, the issue of journalists being killed is something else. i wonder what cecil's take on this is.