What’s the current state of freedom of the press in the world?
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Freedom of the Press is a vital part of democratic and open societies. It is the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media (printed, electronic media, published materials etc.) should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state. Journalism works as the watchdog of private and government actions, by providing information to keep the citizens informed.
As we can see on this map, there is a strong correlation with how democratic a country is and the level of press freedom.
The Press Freedom Index is a ranking of countries published by Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit NGO that aims to safeguard the right to freedom of information.
The Press Freedom Index looks at 7 main criteria:
- Pluralism: Measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media.
- Media independence: Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of sources of political, governmental, business and religious power and influence.
- Environment and self-censorship: Analyses the environment in which news and information providers operate.
- Legislative framework: Measures the impact of the legislative framework governing news and information activities.
- Transparency: Measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information.
- Infrastructure: Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.
A seventh indicator based on data gathered about abuses and acts of violence against journalists and media during the period evaluated is also factored into the calculation.
- Abuses: Measures the level of abuses and violence.