Just The Facts

Press Freedom in China: Still Low Ranked

China badly trails its G-20 peers on guaranteeing a free media.

Credit: Martijn van Gameren and Antony Oliver www.flickr.com


  • China ranked as the worst offender (176th) on press freedom among G-20 member states.
  • China is close to being the world's worst country for press freedom out of 180 ranked in 2016.
  • How do the 2016 and 2017 G-20 summit hosts, China and Germany, compare on press freedom? No contest.

1. In Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 Press Freedom Index, China ranked as the worst offender (176th) on press freedom among G-20 member states.

2. China earned this status for its extensive censorship and journalist prosecutions.

3. Reporters Without Borders’ annual Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries around the world, making China just shy of the world’s worst overall.

4. The index measures the prevailing levels of hospitability and acceptance of governments toward the news media.

5. The latter category also includes the bloggers and netizens who supplement the efforts of mainstream journalists.

6. The G-20 consists of 19 of the world’s largest economies and the EU. China will host the Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016.

8. Next year’s summit is slated for Hamburg, Germany, which stands out in the G-20 for earning the best ranking in 2016 – 16th worldwide.

9. Next-worst on the list after China, in terms of G-20 countries, are Turkey, Mexico and Russia — all at least 25 places ahead.

10. The best-ranked developing nation in the G-20 for press freedom in 2016 is South Africa.

Sources: Reporters Without Borders (see China report), The Globalist Research Center

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