Focus

Threats to Information

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Since 2002, the NGO Reporters without Borders has been publishing an annual Press Freedom Index, its main advocacy tool in defending freedom of information. This Index ranks the level of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries, according to a set of criteria essential to maintaining that freedom (pluralism and media independence, the legislative framework, transparency, self-censorship, safety of journalists, etc.). It is compiled from the responses of experts in each country to a questionnaire (in 20 languages) focusing on these criteria, combined with quantitative data on the violence and abuses suffered by journalists during the period evaluated. Together, these form the basis for calculating the index and, since 2013, an annual score has been awarded to each state (from 0 – the best – to 100 – the worst), enabling national, regional, and global developments to be monitored over time. The 2018 Index reveals further deterioration in the working climate and conditions of journalists and the threat that this poses for democracy. Added to hostility toward non-compliant media, which is brought to bear and encouraged by authoritarian regimes, come pressure, condemnations, and verbal violence on the part of political entrepreneurs and leaders, even in democratic regimes (media bashing). This is widely spread over social networks, and is notable both in Europe and the United States.

Degree of freedom of the press according to Reporters without Borders, 2018 

Source: Reporters whitout borders, https://rsf.org

Comment: The series of three maps comes from reports by Reporters without Borders, an NGO that defends press freedom and the protection of sources and journalists. These reports, published annually since 2002 and compiled from investigations, confirm that hostility towards journalists has intensified in many countries of the world. The first map shows that in over a third of countries the situation is difficult or very serious; the second calculates the number of journalists and contributors killed (1,400 since 2001), mainly in conflict zones (291 in Iraq, 228 in Syria) but also in regions where there are extreme social and political tensions (Mexico, Philippines); the third shows that the areas where journalists are imprisoned coincides with the areas where there are authoritarian states which censure them (China, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, etc.).

To quote this article

" Threats to Information " World Atlas of Global Issues, 2018, [online], accessed on Mar 15 2021, URL:
https://espace-mondial-atlas.sciencespo.fr/en/topic-strategies-of-transnational-actors/focus-3F10-EN-threats-to-information.html

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