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The 2016 World Press Freedom Index

Monday 25 April 2016, by SIGNIS

Paris, April, 25th, 2016 (RSF). The 2016 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on 20 April, “shows that there has been a deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels”.

Ever since the 2013 index, Reporters Without Borders has been calculating indicators of the overall level of media freedom violations in each of the world’s regions and worldwide. The higher the figure, the worse the situation. The global indicator has gone from 3719 points last year to 3857 points this year, a 3.71% deterioration. The decline since 2013 is 13.6%.

The many reasons for this decline in freedom of information include the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of governments in countries such as Turkey and Egypt, tighter government control of state-owned media, even in some European countries such as Poland, and security situations that have become more and more fraught, in Libya and Burundi, for example, or that are completely disastrous, as in Yemen.

All of the Index’s indicators show a decline from 2013 to 2016. This is especially the case for infrastructure. Some governments do not hesitate to suspend access to the Internet or even to destroy the premises, broadcast equipment or printing presses of media outlets they dislike.

The legislative framework has registered an equally marked decline. Many laws have been adopted penalizing journalists on such spurious charges as “insulting the president,” “blasphemy” or “supporting terrorism.” As a result, more and more journalists use “self-censorship”.

Every part of the world has seen its score decline: the Americas, Europe and the Balkans, the Central Asia/Eastern Europe…

The 3 top countries are Finland, The Netherlands and Norway, while the 3 lasts are Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan.

See the whole index here.

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