Iran remains one of the world's most unsafe countries for journalists

27 April, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • JUST IN: NGO Reporters Without Borders upgrades Hong Kong's press freedom rating, citing 'organised resistance'

"A state of emergency has allowed authorities to eliminate dozens of media outlets with the stroke of a pen, reducing pluralism to a handful of low-circulated and targeted publications".

Out of the top five countries where the press freedom situation deteriorated the most, four of them are in Europe.

In the Czech Republic, which dropped 11 places on the index to be ranked 34, "President Milos Zeman turned up at a press conference with a fake Kalashnikov inscribed with the words 'for journalists'".

Norway is in first place for the second consecutive year, and North Korea is last, as it has been for years.

With the continuing armed conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and repeated accusations of terrorism in Egypt as well as Saudi Arabia, the organisation said that the Middle East is the most hard and risky region for practicing journalism.

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However, Taiwan's score fell 1.01 points from previous year to 24.36, due mainly to the threat of China's "growing economic and political pressure" on local media, the report said.

The report also criticizes the government's charges previous year against journalist Tomasz Piątek for alleging that (now former) Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz has ties to the Russian government and organized crime, as well as a record fine of almost 1.5 million PLN by regulators against broadcaster TVN24 for showing footage of demonstrations against media restrictions.

Meanwhile, former Soviet republics and Turkey are at the forefront of the decline worldwide, RSF said, with nearly two-thirds of the region's countries ranking near or below 150. Reporters Without Borders blamed Trump, calling him "a media-bashing enthusiast".

Its annual report said that reporters were the target of a growing wave of authoritarianism with leaders whipping up hostility against them. Reporters Without Borders (RWB, better known as RSF) is a non-profit organization that promotes and defends the press freedom all over the world.

While every region of the world saw declines in press freedom, there were some bright spots in parts of Africa where several authoritarian leaders have left office.

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And in Hungary, the free press has all but vanished as businessmen associated with the ruling party have "acquired most of the last bastions of independent media", according to Freedom House. "Political leaders who fuel loathing for reporters bear heavy responsibility because they undermine the concept of public debate based on facts instead of propaganda".

"Xi Jinping's China is getting closer and closer to a contemporary version of totalitarianism".

While, West Asian countries' struggle with war-reporting continues.

The organisation condemned China's influence and tactics that can be spotted in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

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