Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index is ranking the performance of 180 countries considering a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.
Among big countries, France ranks 38th (up one place), United States – 49th (down three places), Japan 61st (down two places), Brazil 99 (up 12 places),Russia 152 (down four places), Iran 173rd (unchanged) and China 176th (down one place).
The Index highlights a worldwide decline in freedom of information in 2014. Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents.
There was a drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index performed less well than in the previous year. The annual global indicator, which measures the overall level of violations of freedom of information in 180 countries year by year, has risen to 3,719, an 8 percent increase over 2014 and almost 10 percent compared with 2013. The decline affected all continents.
The European Union-Balkans region is in the lead by far, but nonetheless recorded the biggest fall between the 2014 and 2015 editions. This disturbing trend reflects a two-fold phenomenon: the excesses of some member countries on the one hand and the inability of EU mechanisms to contain them on the other. The region that is bottom of the freedom of information list, North Africa and the Middle East, this year once again contained information “black holes”. Comprising entire regions, these are controlled by non-state groups in which independent information simply does not exist.
Reporters Without Borders is the largest press freedom organization in the world with almost 30 years of experience. Thanks to its unique global network of 150 local correspondents investigating in 130 countries, 12 national offices (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, USA) and a consultative status at the United Nations and UNESCO, Reporters Without Borders is able to have a global impact by gathering and providing on the ground intelligence, conducting cybersecurity workshops, and defending and assisting news providers all around the world.