Reporters Without Borders says Asia remains the toughest region for journalists, with North Korea ranked as the worst
country for press freedom for the fourth consecutive year.
The 2005 press freedom index ranks North Korea 167th and the media rights group says journalists are reportedly still being held in concentration camps for professional errors or deviating from the official line.
In contrast, South Korea had the best ranking among the Asian nations. The report says press freedom in both South Korea and Taiwan is moving closer to the European democracies.
Burma was ranked a few steps from the bottom of the list-163. The report says the military junta in Rangoon has failed to release pro-opposition journalists.
The report says China-159 forbids journalists from mentioning sensitive subjects.
Reporters Without Borders says killings of journalists in the Philippines-139 have increased, and points to President Gloria Arroyo's "intolerance" towards the media.
Vietnam's ranking-158 improved slightly from 2004. No journalists are currently in jail, but the report says the communist party still controls the media.
The report says press freedoms also improved in Indonesia -102nd.