UK ranked 23rd for press freedom- in england and im sure in all your countries you feel the media has no freedom and also the media report what they are told they ignore for political reasons many news worthy stories!

UK journalists enjoy less press freedom than 22 other countries including the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia and Jamaica, according to a survey released today.

The UK is ranked joint 23rd, alongside Hungary and Namibia, out of 173 countries on the world press freedom index published annually by Reporters Sans Frontieres. In last year's index the UK was ranked 24th.

RSF looks at a number of factors including the treatment of journalists, freedom of speech and information, and media ownership in individual countries in drawing up its world press freedom index.

The UK's position is in line with RSF's surveys over the past five years, which have put the country between a high of 21st in 2002 and a low of 27th in 2006.

Iceland, Luxembourg and Norway were joint top of the index, while emerging superpower China was seventh from the bottom of the list at 167th.

China was just ahead of Vietnam, Cuba, Burma, and Turkmenistan, but behind Iran, which was 166th. Rival emerging superpower India came in at 118th.

RSF criticized many of the world's leading democracies, claiming they were gradually eroding press freedoms and added that many religious and political taboos were taking greater hold in countries that used to be advancing toward greater freedom.

The east African country of Eritrea remained the territory with the least free media in the world, the RSF survey found.

"The world's closed countries, governed by the worst press freedom predators, continue to muzzle their media at will, with complete impunity, while organizations such as the UN lose all authority over their members," RSF said.

"In contrast with this generalized decline, there are economically weak countries that nonetheless guarantee their population the right to disagree with the government and to say so publicly."

This year 15 European Union member states rank above the UK, but just two of the G8 club of industrialized nations do so - Canada (13th) and Germany (20th). Poland was the EU's lowest ranked country at joint 47th on the index.

France was ranked 35th on the index, down from 31st last year; Italy was 44th, down from 35th; Japan climbed to 29th from 37th last year; and the US was up to joint 36th, from 48th in 2007.

Russia, where the trial of those accused of murdering investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya started last week, was 141st on the RSF index - below Sudan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Last year, Russia was placed 144th and was described as "not progressing" by RSF in the past year.

RSF compiled the index by sending a questionnaire to freedom of expression organizations, its network of more than 600 correspondents, and to journalists, researchers, and human rights activists. The survey contained 49 questions about press freedom.