UK press ranks low on freedom

O’Hagan: killed by paramilitaries

The UK is ranked only 28th in a world index of press freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

RWB said the ranking is largely because of the situation in Northern Ireland “where journalists are constantly threatened by paramilitary groups”.

It noted the investigation into the 2001murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan has “come to a standstill”.

According to RWB, the greatest press freedom is found in northern Europe with Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway all rated number one in the index.

East Asia and the Middle East have the worst press freedom records.

North Korea is placed 167th at the bottom of the list, just below Cuba, Burma, China, Vietnam and Laos.

Then come the Middle Eastern states of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

The war in Iraq has made it the most deadly place in the world for journalists, with 44 killed since fighting began in March last year.

By Jon Slattery

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