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50 countries with the best Press Freedom ratings

  • 50 countries with the best Press Freedom ratings

    The World Press Freedom Index has become so influential that “many heads of state and government fear its annual publication,” according to its publisher Reporters Without Borders.

    Since its inception in 2002, each edition of the World Press Freedom Index has measured and ranked 180 countries by the freedom they provide journalists to work fairly and independently. The rankings are based on answers to an online questionnaire that focuses on six factors when examining the treatment of journalists in specific countries: pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. Abuses and acts of violence against journalists are also factored into the annual rankings. Each country is given a score based on these factors from 0 to 100, with the lower scores being the most free.

    The five countries with the worst press freedom rankings this year are China, Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea, and North Korea.

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  • #50. Senegal

    Press freedom rating: 25.61
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    Though Senegal has a diverse media landscape, certain topics remain off limits for journalists to cover, and some media outlets have been subjected to intimidation for covering corruption. While it’s relatively rare, some journalists from radio stations that choose to interview government critics have experienced harassment and been convicted of defamation, according to Reporters Without Borders.

  • #49. Comoros

    Press freedom rating: 25.30
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    While Comoros guarantees media freedom in its constitution, most journalists in this African nation practice self-censorship because of the harsh penalties for defamation, according to Reporters Without Borders. Many journalists in Comoros lack adequate resources and training, and are struggling to organize themselves.

  • #48. Botswana

    Press freedom rating: 25.29
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 11.0

    In Botswana, the leading print, radio, and television media are all state-owned. Journalists and media outlets are severely punished if they criticize their president or investigate alleged corruption cases. Reporters point to the 2008 Media Practitioners Act as the source for the country’s restrictions on media freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders.

  • #47. Belize

    Press freedom rating: 24.55
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    Covering politics and criminal cases often lead to costly legal proceedings because media outlets in Belize are “extremely polarized,” according to Reporters Without Borders. Journalists also suffer from lack of resources as internet access is the slowest and most expensive of all the Caribbean countries due to inadequate infrastructure.

  • #46. Italy

    Press freedom rating: 24.12
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 6.9

    In Italy, 10 journalists are currently getting police protection at all times because of death threats from the mafia and anarchist groups. Journalists in southern Italy have reported harassment from mafia gangs that have broken into their homes to steal computers and work-related documents, according to Reporters Without Borders

  • #45. United States

    Press freedom rating: 23.73
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 37.4

    President Donald Trump has called the press an “enemy of the American people,” and attempted to block White House access to a number of media outlets. At the local level, reporters risk arrest while covering protests or asking public officials questions, according to Reporters Without Borders.

  • #44. Romania

    Press freedom rating: 23.65
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    Problems like excessive politicization of the media, owner-centered editorial policies, and corrupt financing are becoming increasingly common in Romania. Journalists are also being suppressed by far-right political groups, linked to the Orthodox Church, that openly oppose press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders.

  • #43. South Korea

    Press freedom rating: 23.51
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    Largely thanks to the election of President Moon Jae-in, South Korea has jumped 20 spots in this year’s Press Freedom Index. Moon’s administration was able to end a longstanding conflict at two public broadcasters where reporters objected to the government appointing their bosses.

  • #42. Taiwan

    Press freedom rating: 23.36
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    Journalistic freedom in Taiwan is being threatened by China’s growing influence, with the Chinese government putting more political and economic pressure on Taiwanese media outlets. An increasing number of Taiwanese media outlets are seen regularly siding with the Chinese Communist Party’s platform, according to Reporters Without Borders.

  • #41. Burkina Faso

    Press freedom rating: 23.33
    Number of abuses committed against journalists: 0.0

    While defamation was recently decriminalized in Burkina Faso, the media in the country are still subject to political pressure and the threat of heavy fines, according to Reporters Without Borders. The newspaper L’Evènement was suspended in February 2016 for publishing classified military information about a failed coup.

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