|LEAD Action News vol 11 Number
4, June 2011, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times (ISSN 1440-4966) & Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor: Anne Roberts
Definition of Press Freedom
A definition in one sentence might go something like this ‘Journalists are able to do their work without being subject to intimidation or actual violence, and able to report freely without censorship.’
In 2006, the ranking, out of 168 countries was as follows: Algeria, least worst of the leaded group (126), Afghanistan (130), Yemen (149), Iraq (154), Myanmar (164) and North Korea (168). Please note that these numbers do not represent the ‘score’ given by Reporters Without Borders (RWB), but how the countries rate in relation to each other.In 2010, of the 6 countries currently (2011) judged to still have leaded petrol, Iraq was least worst (rank 130 of 178), Algeria next (133), Afghanistan (147), Yemen (170) Myanmar (174) and North Korea (177). Please note that these numbers do not represent the ‘score’ given by RWB, but how the countries rate in relation to each other.
Reporters Without Borders’ questionnaire for their 2010 survey on press freedom contained forty-three questions, each of which is relevant to a reporter being able to do their job properly. To give you an idea, here is a small selection of the questions:
Questionnaire for compiling the 2010 Press Freedom Index
The period runs from 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010
Physical Violence 6 questions, which including
…any cases of journalists:
Being tortured or mistreated during detention?
Being kidnapped or disappearing?
Being illegally detained (without an arrest warrant, for longer than the maximum period of police custody, without a court appearance etc.)?
Armed militias or clandestine organisations regularly targeting journalists?
Journalists who had to have bodyguards or use security measures (such as wearing bullet-proof vests or using armour-plated vehicles) in the course of their work?
Number of Journalists Murdered, Detained, Physically Attacked orThreatened, and Role of Authorities in This
8 questions, including
…how many journalists, media assistants or press freedom activists:
Were killed in connection with their work?
Were killed in situations in which authorities (police, soldiers, central or local government officials, ruling party activists etc) were involved?
Were detained or jailed (for more than 24 hours)?
Were still in prison at the end of this period as a result of receiving a long jail sentence (more than a year) for a press offence?
Were physically attacked or injured?
Did representatives of the state carry out any or all of these acts of violence?
‘In 2006, press freedom data was available for the following countries which continued to use lead additives in their vehicular fuels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Morocco, Myanmar, North Korea, Palestine, Serbia (under the name ‘Serbia and Montenegro’), Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Data was not available for Western Sahara. The ‘Press Freedom Index’ for 2006 assessed press freedom levels in 168 countries throughout the world (Reporters Without Borders 2006).
‘…more countries which had eliminated lead from their vehicular fuels displayed higher levels of press freedom than countries which had not eliminated lead from their vehicular fuels.
‘From the finding of a statistically significant difference between the two datasets, it was possible to conclude with confidence that a relationship existed between press freedom values and the elimination or non-elimination of lead additives from vehicular fuels. The finding of the statistical significance of the difference between the datasets for leaded and unleaded countries indicated that the relationship between higher press freedom values (denoting lower levels of press freedom) and a failure to eliminate lead from vehicular fuels in 2006 (evident in the frequency histogram of the two datasets) did not emerge by chance.’
Once again, Cooper notes that ‘While it is not possible… to definitively state that the relationship between low press freedom levels and continuing use of leaded vehicular fuels was causative in nature, it is clear that a close relationship between the two existed. These findings provide strong support for the proposition that failures to address the low levels of press freedom present in countries that continued to rely on leaded petrol may have been inhibiting the global effort to eliminate lead additives from vehicular fuels in 2006.’
In 2010, press freedom data was available for the following countries which continued to use lead additives in their vehicular fuels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Myanmar, North Korea and Yemen. The ‘Press Freedom Index’ for 2010 assessed press freedom levels in 178 countries throughout the world (Reporters Without Borders 2010b).
‘…it was possible to conclude with confidence that, as in 2006, a relationship existed between press freedom values and the elimination or non-elimination of leaded additives from vehicular fuels in 2010. The finding of the statistical significance of the difference between the datasets for leaded and unleaded countries indicated that the relationship between higher press freedom values (denoting lower levels of press freedom) and a failure to eliminate lead from vehicular fuels (evident in the frequency histogram of the two datasets) did not emerge by chance…
‘ it can be concluded not only that a significant difference existed in the press freedom values of leaded and unleaded countries in 2010, but also that the practical difference in press freedom levels between the two was very substantial. Furthermore, this result indicates that the divergence in the press freedom values of leaded countries as compared with unleaded countries was even greater in 2010 than it was in 2006.’
Again, ‘… it can be confidently asserted that the likelihood that a country is leaded is related to its level of press freedom, and that this relationship between press freedom levels and the elimination of leaded vehicular fuels operated throughout the period 2006 to 2010. It is clear that leaded countries are substantially less likely to exhibit press freedom than unleaded countries, and that as time has progressed this trend has become even more pronounced.’
Again,’… no definitive statement can be made as to whether the relationship between low levels of press freedom and an increased tendency towards reliance on leaded fuels is causative in nature, the strength of the relationship provides considerable support for the proposition that failures to address low press freedom levels in countries that continue to rely on leaded petrol may be inhibiting the global effort to eliminate lead additives from vehicular fuels. As the correlation between low press freedom levels and reliance on leaded petrol became more pronounced in 2010 than it was in 2006, it can be asserted that the need to address the low levels of press freedom present in leaded countries in order to further the global effort to eliminate lead additives from vehicular fuels was more compelling in 2010 than it was in 2006.’
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Updated 26 January 2012