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Deutsche Welle offers a press freedom navigator

To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the DW Akademie is presenting its Media Freedom Navigator. The interactive website provides extensive information on the state of press freedom around the world.

The web navigator ( includes detailed information on the most important indices for press freedom – prepared in such a way that users can target their searches to specific countries and world regions.

An interactive map shows various organizations’ rankings of the level of freedom enjoyed by media. There’s also a brief overview available for each country as well as lists of links. An educational game on the state of press freedom and the methods used by the indices invites players to critically examine the data.

“The facts and data from organizations that analyze developments in this area provide us with an important basis for our work. We want our content to increase awareness of how these indices are created. That allows users to understand what these rankings tell us, and what they don’t,” explained Christian Gramsch, who is head of the DW Akademie. Deutsche Welle, he added, stands for press freedom around the world as well as freedom of expression and unrestricted access to information. “The Media Freedom Navigator makes an important contribution to developing understanding of the status of press freedom,” Gramsch said.

The Navigator draws on the “Freedom of the Press Index” by Freedom House, the “Press Freedom Index” by Reporters Without Borders, the “Media Sustainability Index” by IREX, the “Media Barometer” by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the “Media Development Indicators” from UNESCO. It also orients itself around data from the UNDP’s “Human Development Index.”

The basis for the online tool comes from a handbook published in 2014 by the DW Akademie titled “Media Freedom Indices – What they tell us and what they don’t,” which analyzed the most important international press freedom rankings. That publication as well as the new online content were given financial support by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Cologne-based company The Good Evil GmbH helped to develop the concept and technical implementation of the tool.

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