Sunday, 19 January, 2020


Jamaica drops two places to eighth in 2019 press freedom ranking

Jamaica drops two places to eighth in 2019 press freedom ranking Jamaica drops two places to eighth in 2019 press freedom ranking
Bennie Garza | 21 April, 2019, 00:26

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres or RSF) has released its world press freedom index, which shows some countries slipping from their position, while others remaining in the worst of circumstances.

RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire echoed similar sentiments about the dangers of declining press freedom, stating: "If the political debate slides surreptitiously or openly towards a civil war-style atmosphere, in which journalists are treated as scapegoats, then democracy is in great danger..."

"The political situation in Kosovo became increasingly tense and unstable in 2018 as a result of neighboring Serbia's rapprochement with the European Union, which left Kosovo's government isolated diplomatically", RWB's country report on Kosovo reads.

RSF says, if passed, the law could have a chilling effect on journalists.

A few independent media outlets manage to survive alongside the big media groups, but they are subjected to arbitrary tax and finance inspections whenever they criticise powerful politicians.

"Most media outlets are privately-owned but those regarded as favorable to the government get the lion's share of state advertising". The change of president in 2015 is said to have been accompanied by unprecedented attacks on the press and the country continued its disturbing decline in 2018. "Kosovo's ethnic divisions are the source of these disturbing problems".

"President John "Bulldozer" Magufuli is in the process of joining the club of press freedom's predators". It fell one place on the list and now finds itself on 63rd place.

In its 2019 index, RSF finds that hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear around the world. "Reporters Without Borders" Red-Flags India on Killing of 7 Journalists in Last 18 Months.

China, suspected of "orchestrating online disinformation campaigns" in Taiwan, is "exploiting this weakness by putting pressure on Taiwanese media owners, who often have business interests on the mainland", RSF said. Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina all dropped in the rankings.

The United States dropped three spots from a year earlier to 48th.

"Ghana, Africa's best-ranked country in 2018, has lost this status for failing to protect a group of investigative journalists who were threatened, especially by a ruling party parliamentarian, after making a documentary about Ghanaian soccer corruption".

Despite an "ingrained tendency" from senior government officials in North Macedonia to threaten and insult journalists, said RWB, journalists' safety improved markedly. The country rose 40 spots in the index ranking. Greece jumped from 74th to 65th place, and Croatia from 69th to 64th.

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