Watchdog: Press freedom declines around the world

Reporters Without Borders: ‘The climate of fear results in a growing aversion to debate and pluralism’


WASHINGTON — Media freedom around the world has suffered a “deep and disturbing decline” due to by pressure from governments and businesses, an international media watchdog said Wednesday.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in an annual report that many of the world’s leaders have developed “a paranoia” about journalism and are clamping down on the media, while coverage in privately owned outlets is increasingly shaped by corporate interests.

“The climate of fear results in a growing aversion to debate and pluralism,” said Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders. “Journalism worthy of the name must be defended against the increase in propaganda and media content that is made to order or sponsored by vested interests.”

While Europe has the freest media, according to the report, some countries, such as Poland fell sharply on the press freedom index by tightening government control. In Hungary, the government has also sought to impose restrictions on press freedoms.

Journalists in the Middle East and Africa fell victim to terrorism, armed conflict and intimidation by authorities. In Latin America, reporters were constrained by organized crime, violence and corruption. In the United States, they faced cyber-surveillance.

The decline in media freedom was also observed in east Asian democracies such as Japan and South Korea, while in China, “the Communist Party took repression to new heights,” the study said.

In post-Soviet countries, freedom has declined steadily, with many countries following the example of Russia, where government critics face persecution. Ukraine was a notable exception, seeing an improvement due to a decline in violence in the separatist conflict in the east of the country and some reform, though many problems still remain.

The index measures media pluralism, independence, the legal framework and the safety of journalists in 180 countries. It is based on a questionnaires filled out by experts around the world as well as on quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence perpetrated against reporters.


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Watchdog: Press freedom declines around the world

  1. Great article; non specific enough though; should talk about Post Media in Canada and who owns it in New York and the outlets that it owns across Canada and their biased policies and who they support and why. They should have went Liberal in the last election but they all collectively went with Steve for his support of sending troops to the middle east…… Also the declining number of commentary sites, and who gets deleted and why which constitutes one of the pillars of the Zeitgeist of our age…..the CBC also is notorious for its biased political correct arbitrary deletion racket from its third party hidden Kafka group out in some hidden suburb. I don’t see any Profesors talking about that in class. CNN packed in its commentary site as they could no longer own up to a divided America in every extreme way; specifically they could not take the plethora of negative comments about Israel during the last Israel/Lebanon border skirmish, and secondly they could not take the invective levelled at black crime in America….of course there are broad ideas like the ones that guys like Chomsky champions regarding the mobilization of bias and the non talking about the elephant in the room that rankles the powers that be…..my point though is that it is not just the real fault of the gutless political bureaucratic establishment alone that is responsible for political correctness but a gutless henpecked ignorant citizenry who now expect their kid who finished last to get a medal. Everyone is a victim today; there are now victimology managers poping up all over the place….and it is part of the whole charade today. I got the strap in grade 3 and now I will never be the same….and that girl that yelled at me in grade 2….marked for life…better organize a group against girl bullies in grade 2 from 50 years ago and by the way we need government funding for that too, and a specialized team of hundred thou a year tax paid trauma specialists, with sociology degrees.

    • Craig Dobson. Right on, but it is people who allow this to happen, and I am happy I am on the down curve of live.

  2. It should also be noted that the press is biased, partisan and not above lying by omission. Just another sign of the times. The press reflects today’s society who watch “reality” shows and craft people who act like idiots.

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