EIGHTY-ONE JOURNALISTS WERE IN PRISON AROUND THE WORLD at the end of 2000, jailed for practicing their profession. The number is down slightly from the previous year, when 87 were in jail, and represents a significant decline from 1998, when 118 journalists were imprisoned.
While jailing journalists can be an effective means of stifling bad press at home, it is very costly in terms of a country's international image. Particularly in Eastern Europe and Latin America, many countries use more subtle methods to control the press--punitive tax laws, expensive libel suits, and advertising boycotts. States that routinely jail journalists, on the other hand, are often impervious to international criticism.