A Systematic Analysis of the Discrepancies Between Press Freedom as Measured by Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House


Lee B. Becker, Laura Schneider and Tudor Vlad


Since 2002, Reporters Without Borders, based in Paris, and Freedom House, based in New York, have conducted parallel, and ostensibly independent, measures of press freedom around the world. Across those years, the two nongovernmental organizations have produced measures that are extremely highly correlated. Perhaps because of the high correlations, no systematic analysis has been conducted of the discrepancies. This paper does just that, focusing on discrepancies that are consistent year-to-year as well as those that do not replicate. By using the textual summaries of discrepant cases, the authors attempt to understand the differences as a way of illuminating consistencies and discrepancies in the methodologies of the two evaluators.

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