RSF index 2019: regional analysis
World press freedom index 2018 Read more
Sub-Saharan Africa has not avoided the latest international decline in press freedom. Hatred towards journalists, attacks on investigative reporters, censorship (especially online and on social networks), and economic and judicial harassment all undermined independent reporting and quality journalism in a continent where press freedom saw significant changes in 2018.
With Morocco’s drawn-out trials, the sometimes violent harassment by Libya’s militias and Algeria’s many prosecutions, journalists in North Africa work in an often hostile environment and struggle to fulfil their role as providers of objective reporting. The one exception is Tunisia, which has risen sharply in this year’s Index.
The 2019 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Index shows continued deterioration of press freedom in the United States, while its northern neighbor remains ranked close to the top of the Index. Though both nations have historically respected the press, journalists in these countries are being challenged by the very institutions on which they report.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has seen a disturbing decline in press freedom in Latin America in 2018. The problems for the media have increased in most of the region’s countries, with journalists often exposed to violence, harassment and governmental censorship.
With totalitarian propaganda, censorship, intimidation, physical violence and cyber-harassment, a lot of courage is needed nowadays to work independently as a journalist in the Asia-Pacific countries, where democracies are struggling to resist various forms of disinformation.
2019 RSF Press Freedom Index: glimmers of hope amid overall decline in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
The Eastern Europe and Central Asia region maintains its ranking at second from the bottom in the World Press Freedom Index. However, 2018 saw an unusual diversity of changes at the national level. Moscow and Ankara continued to set a bad example, and the region’s worst despots behaved even more appalling, but some countries improved their individual ranking, showing that deterioration is not inevitable.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in October 2018 shed a harsh light on the risks run by the region’s journalists when they fail to either repeat the state’s propaganda or remain silent. As a result of wars, persecution by authoritarian regimes, as well as the number of journalists killed, threatened, silenced, or forced into exile, most of the region’s countries are ranked low in the World Press Freedom Index.
The decline in press freedom in Europe, as seen in RSF’s Press Freedom Index over the past few years, has gone hand in hand with an erosion of the region’s institutions by increasingly authoritarian governments. What with murders, attempted murders, and physical and verbal attacks, Europe’s journalists are subjected to many forms of pressure and intimidation and increasingly to judicial harassment as well. Europe continues to be the continent that best guarantees press freedom, but the work of its investigative reporters is being obstructed more and more.