Thursday, October 20, 2005

Corruption and Press Freedom

There were two new indexes out this week ranking countries in the world. The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index measures perceptions of corruption in countries around the world. Countries are rated a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the most corrupt and 10 being the most clean. El Salvador's score of 4.2 indicated a perceived high level of corruption. Tony Saca attempted to put the best light on the figures by noting (correctly), the El Salvador was tied with Costa Rica for the best ranking of any country in Latin America.

The second index released was the Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index. With a ranking of 28th in the world, El Salvador placed ahead of all other countries in Latin America and ahead of the United States which ranked 44th. The index measures whether governments act to suppress reporting, it does not measure whether the media which is readily accessible to the population is slanted or controlled by ruling elites. An argument can be easily made that the mass media in El Salvador falls short of providing a spectrum of opinion.

Perhaps the Salvadoran free press should spend some time focusing on the problem of corruption.

No comments: