PARIS — Armenia has improved by three positions to be ranked 78th among 180 countries in the 2014 Press Freedom Index released by Reporters without Borders.

The position gives Armenia advantage over regional neighbors Georgia (84th) and Azerbaijan (160th), as well as Turkey (154th) and Iran (173rd).

Of the former Soviet countries now making up the Commonwealth of Independent States only Moldova (56th) ranks higher than Armenia. Russia is in the 148th position.

The same trio of Finland, Netherlands and Norway heads the index again, while Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be the biggest information black holes, again occupying the last three positions.

“The World Press Freedom Index is a reference tool that is based on seven criteria: the level of abuses, the extent of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire.

“It makes governments face their responsibilities by providing civil society with an objective measure, and provides international bodies with a good governance indicator to guide their decisions.”

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