Wednesday, April 25, 2018

World Press Freedom Report Card: Grades Are Dismal

World Press Freedom Index by Countries (black is bad)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) today releases its 2018 World Press Freedom Index, an annual review of 180 countries and their relationship with the media. In the report, there is very little to celebrate. The survey paints yet another depressing portrait of the gradual erosion of one of free societies’ most treasured principle.

Ten Best For Press Freedom
“The unleashing of hatred towards journalists is one of the worst threats to democracies,” says Christophe Deloire, the secretary general of RSF. Politicians are exacerbating the problem, Deloire adds, by using propaganda to undermine fact-based public discourse. “To dispute the legitimacy of journalism today is to play with extremely dangerous political fire.”

Nicaragua has never been a model of freedom. In this year’s index it ranks 90th, the absolute median. The ranking seems fitting, given that Gahona’s fate is being replicated around the globe.

“Unfortunately, we expect to see violence against journalists in war zones, but the killing of journalists in countries that are not at war is something we are seeing more and more,” Margaux Ewen, the North America director for RSF, told The Washington Post.

While Syria remains the most dangerous place to report from, assassinations of journalists in India, Mexico and Brazil made headlines over the past year, surpassed only by the killings of two investigative reporters inside the European Union, which has long been considered the most media-friendly region.

Sweden and Norway again rank as the freest media environments in the world, while the Netherlands replaced Finland in third place. Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea are this year’s worst offenders — just as they were last year.

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