For instance, the United States, the country with the First Amendment (which among other things prevents US Congress from abridging the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press) fell from rank 43 past year to rank 45. “At least three of the journalists murdered in 2017 were targeted in connection with their work”, the report read.
He added: “The political leaders who are despising journalists are undermining the principle of public debate that is based on facts rather than propaganda”.
For the second successive year, Australia has ranked at #19 on the Index. Physical attacks, along with threats and cyber-violence, continue to be a major problem for journalists in Croatia – it’s written at the Reporters without borders official page.
Criticising the Information and Communication Technology Act of Bangladesh, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has said growing media self-censorship is the result of endemic violence against journalists and media outlets in the country.
In a section about Russian Federation, the report says that “the climate has become increasingly oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse or just try to maintain quality journalism”.
The organisation also said that the USA president has openly adopted a hate speech and considers reporters as “enemies of the people”, using expressions that had always been used by the Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin.
The watchdog said that “media-phobia” there is now so pronounced that journalists are routinely accused of terrorism and “those who don’t offer loyalty are arbitrarily imprisoned”. That report warned “more and more” democratically-elected leaders see the media as an enemy instead of a necessary part of a democracy.
RSF also motions the case of two leading investigative journalists physically attacked after criticizing members of the government and close allies in articles.
“Press freedom in Russian Federation and Turkey has sunk to levels that are without precedent in more than three decades”, RSF says. North Korea was at the bottom, the same as a year ago. “Fake news” is now a trademark excuse for media repression, in both democratic and authoritarian regimes”, the RSF said.
Norway was the topper in the index this year, as it was in 2017, while Sweden continued to be the second for the second consecutive year.
The biggest threat to journalism freedom in the world come from Russia, China and Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.
The rankings cite an overall decline in global press freedom, with a “climate of hatred” for the press that is “openly encouraged by political leaders”.