Emilia Bassar, chief of the survey team, said Sucofindo has completed all phases of the survey in 34 provinces in Indonesia.
"In terms of the press freedom index on a provincial scale, Riau Islands is ranked first," he said when contacted from Tanjungpinang on Saturday.
Meanwhile, expert informant Iskandar Zulkarnaen praised the Press Council and the Sucofindo survey team for their “objective and reliable assessment”.
"The achievement (first rank for Riau Islands) is the result of all stakeholders' hard work in Riau Islands, who served as expert informants, including press publication companies, journalists association, academics, the public, state institutions, and the regional government of Riau Islands province," he said.
Separately, national expert informant Bambang Harimurti recommended that the province be awarded a token of appreciation by the President and incentives be provided to promote press freedom in the relevant regions.
"I can help the province, which is ranked first in terms of press freedom, to receive an award from Mr. President," he added.
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