Mistrust and violence

Journalists were subjected to a very disturbing increase in physical attacks and harassment in 2019. Many were injured by flashball rounds or teargas fired by the police, or were attacked by angry demonstrators while covering Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement or protests against pension reform. Their coverage of the protests was often obstructed, or they were prevented from filming, or their equipment was seized. There was also a disturbing increase in judicial harassment of investigative reporters aimed at identifying their sources. Several reporters investigating sensitive subjects such France’s arm sales to Saudi Arabia or those involved in the Benalla affair were summoned for questioning by the intelligence services. Editorial independence is insufficiently protected against conflicts of interest involving media owners and the tendency for businessmen to acquire media outlets for influence purposes. Journalists are also exposed to a climate of hostility fed by politicians using aggressive language, and to harassment on social media, where they are favourite targets of trolls of all kinds hiding behind their screens and pseudonyms.

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



32 in 2019

Global score


22.21 in 2019


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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