Friday, May 3, 2019

World Sees Media As A Little More Free

Amid rising concerns about the freedom of the press across much of the world this World Press Freedom Day, the world in general is more likely to see the media as having a lot of freedom than it was a few years ago.

Across 133 countries surveyed last year -- one of the deadliest on record for journalists -- a median of 64% of adults agreed the media in their country have a lot of freedom, while 28% disagreed. These results are similar to the 2017 figures, but represent a slight improvement from 2016.

These perceptions vary around the world, however, and in 28 countries, less than half of adults say their media have a lot of freedom.

As in past years, European nations dominate the list of countries with the highest perceived media freedom. More than nine in 10 adults in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland say their media have a lot of freedom. The only non-European country in that very top range is Canada.

Canada's neighbor to the south -- where the media have routinely been called "fake news" and the "enemy of the people" for the past two years -- narrowly misses making the top 10 list. Eighty-eight percent of Americans say the media in their country are free. This is in line with results in 2017, but up from levels in 2015 and 2016, when figures were in the lower 80s.

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