Still in retreat

Press freedom and the situation of journalists are worsening in Belgium, which has fallen again in the World Press Freedom Index. For the first time ever, journalists with the Flemish-language VRT television broadcaster protested in Flanders about a lack of resources and budget cuts imposed by the Flemish government. In French-speaking Wallonia, there was an outcry about the newspaper L’Avenir’s arbitrary dismissal of journalists who had taken too much interest in a financial scandal involving Nethys, the energy and telecommunications company that owns the newspaper. Flames were fuelled by the leak of a list of L’Avenir journalists regarded by the management as “undesirable.” In the summer of 2019, Belgium’s then foreign minister Didier Reynders (now a European commissioner) proposed a law that would have exposed anyone revealing classified information to criminal penalties. It was rejected by the Council of State in the name of the freedom to inform.

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



9 in 2019

Global score


12.07 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
Go to the barometre