Further collapse of public service broadcasters
The polarised political climate, marked by constant verbal attacks and nationalist rhetoric, has created a hostile environment for press freedom. Editorial policies reflecting ethnic divisions and hate speech are ever more evident. Journalists are attacked for their ethnic origins as well as what they write, especially about migration. Defamation suits by politicians often serve to intimidate journalists and deter them from pursuing their work. Manipulation of the media for political purposes continues, especially in the public broadcast media but also in privately-owned media (and online media in particular). Although implementation of the defamation laws has progressed, they continue to have a self-censorship effect on journalists. Nonetheless, investigative journalism plays a major role in society and several online media outlets have exposed significant cases of corruption. Yet no legislation has improved the overall environment for journalists, no law on online media has been promulgated, and no progress has been made on media ownership transparency. The Covid-19 pandemic undermined and threatened press freedom in 2020. The government held press conferences without journalists being physically present, and officials avoided answering critical questions about the relevance of the government’s measures. Some authorities and state institutions directly obstructed journalists’ work, and in some cases, they even accused journalists of “inaccurate and malicious reporting”.
58 in 2020
28.51 in 2020