Estonia maintains 12th place in world press freedom rankings

Apr 25, 2018, 14:00
Estonia maintains 12th place in world press freedom rankings

Latvia ranks 24th out of 180 countries in the annual World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), up four places from 2017.

"The "fake news" issue has received less atttention in the past year, with concern now focused on attacks by hackers on the IT systems of the Estonian media", the report said.

The authors of the report explain such slow progress partially with the disappointments after the Revolution of Dignity expectations.

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The Israeli cabinet has made a decision to beef up military deployments, including over 100 snipers, and use live fire and shoot-to-kill orders "if Palestinians breach (or approach)" the border fence.

Luxembourg has dropped two places in a global ranking of press freedom, with its reputation "not helped" by the latest developments in the LuxLeaks scandal. "Political leaders who fuel loathing for reporters... undermine the concept of public debate based on facts instead of propaganda. We call on all politicians to protect media freedom and safeguard a vibrant press in the United Kingdom".

"To dispute the legitimacy of journalism today is to play with extremely unsafe political fire". A report by the US' trump administration said media outlets critical of the government in India were allegedly pressured or harassed in 2017. Reporters without borders say that it's still early to assess the new government's objectives in improving the situation with the media.

As usual, Scandinavian countries topped the list with Norway deemed as having the world's freest press for the second year in a row. The U.S. ranked 45th, while Russian Federation came in 148th place. Its decline was due, in part, to President Donald Trump's frequent castigation of the country's journalists.

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This includes Kyrgyzstan (98th), which registered one of the index's biggest falls at nine places, after a year with a great deal of harassment of the media including "astronomic fines for insulting the head of state". Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore were all cited as states "struggling to defend their models against an all-powerful China".

"The unleashing of hatred towards journalists is unsafe and a threat to democracy", RSF chief Christophe Deloire told AFP.

The RSF index - which has been published annually since 2002 - evaluates countries around the world by the "level of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legal framework, transparency, and the quality of infrastructure that supports the production of news and information".

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They want the allocation should be based on the 1971 census data since all of them have successfully reduced their population growth rates.

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