Scholars of international relations and international communications view the extent of media freedom from country to country as a key comparative indicator either by itself or in correlation with other indices of national political and economic development. This indicator serves as a bellwether for gauging the health and spread of democracy. Historical Guide to World Media Freedom brings together comprehensive historical data on media freedom since World War II, providing consistent and comparable measures of media freedom in all independent countries for the years 1948 to the present. The work also includes country-by country summaries, analyses of historical and regional trends in media freedom, and extensive reliability analyses of media freedom measures. The book’s detailed information helps researchers connect historical measures of media freedom to Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press survey release, enabling them to extend their studies back before the 1980s when Freedom House began compiling global press freedom measures. Key Features: A-to-Z, country-by-country summaries of the ebb and flow of media freedom are paired with national media freedom measures over time. Introductory chapters discuss such topics as the theoretical premises behind the nature and importance of media freedom, historical trends, and the challenges of coding for media freedom in a way that ensures consistency for comparison. Concluding material covers the historical patterns in media freedom, how media freedom tracks with other cross-national indicators, and more. Accessible to students and scholars alike, this groundbreaking reference is essential to collections in political science, international studies, and journalism and communications.