United Kingdom

United Kingdom

A worrying trend

A heavy-handed approach towards the press - often in the name of national security - has resulted in the UK slipping down the World Press Freedom Index. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act, with insufficient protection mechanisms for whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources, posing a serious threat to investigative journalism. Even more alarming, the Law Commission's proposal for a new 'Espionage Act' would make it easy to classify journalists as 'spies' and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 remains cause for concern - in particular, the law's punitive cost-shifting measure that could hold publishers liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit. The seizure by UK border authorities of a Syrian journalist's passport at the request of the Assad regime sent the worrying signal that critical foreign journalists traveling to the UK could be targeted by their own governments.

40
in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-2

38 in 2016

Global score

+0.56

21.70 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    netizens killed in 2017
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2017
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