[JURIST] Freedom of the press suffered serious setbacks around the world in 2006, according to a new report [documents, press release] from Freedom House [advocacy website]. The study, Freedom of the Press 2007: A Global Survey of Media Independence, noted particular causes for concern in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Russia. Overall, the report examined 195 countries and territories and found 38 percent were rated Free, 30 percent were rated Partly Free, and 32 percent were rated Not Free. Freedom House released its report in conjunction with Thursday's World Press Freedom Day [official website]. AP has more.
In related news this week, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom [official website] released [JURIST report; press release] its annual report on worldwide religious freedom [PDF text], finding for the first time since the ouster of Saddam Hussein that freedom of religious worship in Iraq is under severe threat.