Ireland moves up global press freedom rankings

We are now at number 9, while the UK has fallen four places

Press freedom index, Ireland, Reporters Without Borders, UK, US

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A new press freedom index has ranked Ireland 9th out of 180 countries.

Finland tops the list - with The Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden and Jamaica finishing up the top 10.

Ireland has moved up two places since last year, having been at number 11.

However, Reporters Without Borders say Ireland's highly concentrated media ownership is a problem.

It also says that interviewing police sources "has been virtually impossible" since the Garda Siochana Act of 2005.

This bans officers from talking to journalists without prior authorisation.

The United Kingdom is well behind, ranking at number 38 - down four places on last year.

While the United States comes in at 41, which is up eight on its previous ranking.

But Reporters Without Borders says: "US media freedom... has encountered a major obstacle - the government's war on whistleblowers who leak information about its surveillance activities, spying and foreign operations, especially those linked to counter-terrorism".

Coming bottom of the list are China, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea.