Northern Europe remains a beacon for journalists around the world, with its countries firmly ranked in the top five nations providing the highest levels of media freedom, according to a newly released survey.
Prepared by Reporters Without Borders, the 2010 Press Freedom Index polled 178 nations on violations of journalists within each state. Officials surveyed reported attacks and murders of individual reporters, as well as larger industry issues such as censorship and circulation of newspapers and magazines.
The results found Finland at the top of the list with the most media-friendly environment, followed by Iceland, the Netherlands and Sweden. The U.S. came in at #20, just behind the U.K. (#19). Considerably more repressive were nations like Rwanda (#169) and Syria (#173), with Eritrea (#178) at the bottom.
Organizers expressed deep concern for what they describe as the "disturbing" fall of several European Union countries, such as France and Italy.
See the report's full rankings here.
See the rankings of 20 selected countries below: