Ireland top of Press Freedom table

How we see ourselves, and how others see us, don’t always correspond. Our usual view of the state of press freedom in Ireland is pessimistic. But Reporters Without Borders rank Ireland top of their Worldside Press Freedom Index 2006, equal first with Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands. Bottom are North Korea, Turkmenistan and Eritrea. Christine Newman reports on the Index in today’s Irish Times, and it makes it onto other blogs such as Finfacts and Wynner’s Blog, but I have been unable to find any official reaction. Perhaps this is becuase of a certain satisfaction, if not surprise, at our ranking. But we should not feel too smug or sit on our laurels. There is much still to do, not least the long delayed defamation reform. If that happens, we might consolidate our welcome position at the top of the league.