Author: EMMA DILTZ
Conditions for journalists around the world, even in the European Union, are getting worse, according to an annual report from Reporters Without Borders.
Journalists in Bulgaria are facing a “difficult situation,” while press freedom in Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Italy is a “noticeable problem,” according to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the NGO.
Overall, press freedom has declined around the world, Reporters Without Borders noted, with a total of 21 countries now rated as “very bad,” three more than last year, and 51 “bad,” two more than in 2016.
The European Union and Balkans region, while still rated the freest around the world, registered the biggest increase in media constrictions and violations in the past year, up 3.8 percent. Over five years, the region’s press freedom violations jumped 17.5 percent.
The U.K. dropped two spots down the list, to 40 from 42, with the NGO highlighting the country’s counter-terrorism laws, which enabled police to collect a BBC journalist’s laptop and obtain the records of a reporter’s phone calls. The U.S. fell to 43 from 41.
Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark topped the list, while Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea came bottom.
Turkey, where many journalists have been arrested in the wake of last year’s July coup, fell four places to 155. The country has dropped 57 spots since 2005, the NGO said.