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Being ranked 115th in Reporters Without Borders 2010 Press Freedom Index may seem rather low. But Tajikistan's position is higher than all of its immediate neighbors.

Tajikistan's ranking is the highest among Central Asian states. Additionally, Tajikistan ranks higher than all of its immediate neighbors and nearby states like Ukraine (131), Russia (140), and Azerbaijan (152).

The report comes at a time when the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has criticized the Tajik media environment. According to an article in "The Moscow Times," the OSCE has petitioned the government to "reverse the ongoing deterioration of the media freedom situation in Tajikistan." Clearly, rankings like these are always going to involve some rather arbitrary decisions.

The 2010 rankings had other surprises as well. Finland climbed to the number one spot for the first time since 2006. And Eritrea beat out North Korea for the bottom spot on the table for the fourth year running.

-- Joseph Hammond

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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