freedomhouse.org: Freedom of the Press > Methodology

From the explanation of a map showing differences in press freedom around the world.

We recognize cultural
differences, diverse national interests, and varying levels of economic
development. Yet Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights states:

Everyone has the right to
freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart
information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

The operative word for this survey is “everyone.” All
states, from the most democratic to the most authoritarian, are
committed to this doctrine through the UN system. To deny that doctrine
is to deny the universality of information freedom–a basic human right.
We recognize that cultural distinctions or economic underdevelopment
may limit the volume of news flows within a country, but these and
other arguments are not acceptable explanations for outright
centralized control of the content of news and information.
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