MAJURO (Marianas Variety) - Palau and the Marshall Islands lead 40 nations in the Asia/Pacific region in media freedom, according to a global report issued last week.
Of 197 nations rated globally, Palau ranked number 16 and the Marshall Islands ranked 17, said the Freedom House annual press freedom report. In Asia and the Pacific, Palau and the Marshall Islands ranked number one and two, respectively, with the Federated States of Micronesia coming in at number five.
"I absolutely support freedom of the press," said Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak Wednesday commenting on the high ranking globally of the islands in the latest media freedom report. "I'm glad the Marshall Islands is ranked high in media freedom," Loeak said. "I welcome a free media."
In the Asia/Pacific region, Pacific islands dominated the top 15 nations listed as having "free" media, with only New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Taiwan in the top portion of the 40 Asia/Pacific nations evaluated.