Norway remains on top, while many other democratic countries fall in the stats, as this year’s Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows. Only 48 out of 180 countries have good or satisfactory press freedom.
On Tuesday, the Journalists’ Organization presented its annual index at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. The Press Freedom Index measures media independence, the security of journalists, and the degree of freedom of expression in 180 countries around the world. As in previous years, Norway, Denmark and Sweden were at the top and received high praise.
It’s something we should be proud of, but certainly not take for granted. Culture and Gender Equality Minister Annette Trettbergstoen says it didn’t come on its own journalists.
But other than that, the indicator reading is very bleak. In 28 countries, including Russia, Belarus, China and Myanmar, the situation is described as very poor. Only eight countries are in a good position.
102 countries have a situation described as either difficult or problematic. In the remaining 40 countries, press freedom is rated satisfactory.
– It cannot exist without
In democratic countries, divisions are growing as more media operate with an agenda, and disinformation is spreading through social media, RFS notes.
Internationally, democracy is weakened by the growing gap between open societies and regimes that control their media while waging propaganda wars against democracies. Here, the war between Ukraine and Russia is used as an example.
– Editor-in-chief Margarita Semongan of RT (formerly Russia Today) revealed her true position when she said in a TV broadcast on Rossiya Wan that “a great nation cannot exist without the control of information,” said the head of the RSF, Christophe Deloire.
Press freedom is under attack. Norway has a special responsibility.
Some bright spots
China’s mounting pressures and austerity measures against Hong Kong residents have caused the latter to drop sharply on the index, which is now number 148. China is ranked 175. The lack of press freedom continues to affect the conflict between Israel (ranked 86) and Palestine (ranked 170) and other Arab countries.
Media polarization continues to reinforce internal social divisions in democratic societies such as the United States (42), despite President Joe Biden’s election victory, according to the RFS. Developments are also negative in France (26) and Poland (66).
However, there are some bright spots that can be found in the index. Moldova (40) and Bulgaria (91) are heading in the right direction after a change of government last year. He brought hope for an improvement for journalists in the countries concerned, although the oligarchy still owns and controls the media.
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