Media freedom is in decline in Croatia

20 April, 2016 / Vedran Pavlic in Total Croatia News

Media freedom deteriorated around the world last year, according to an annual report published by Reporters Without Borders. That includes Croatia as well, which fell five places in the rankings compared to 2014, reports Novi List on April 20, 2016.

The media freedom rankings cover 180 countries and have been published annually since 2002. The rankings are based on a series of indicators: pluralism, independence of the media, self-censorship, the legal framework, transparency. “All ranking indicators point to the deterioration in media freedom”, said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of the Reporters Without Borders.

For 2015, Croatia is ranked at the 63rd position, while the year before it was at 58th position. When it comes to neighbouring countries, ahead of Croatia are Slovenia (40) and Serbia (59), while other countries are behind it: Hungary (67), Bosnia and Herzegovina (68), Italy (77), and Montenegro (106).

In general, Europe is still the region where media freedom is greater than elsewhere, announced Reporters Without Borders. Finland is the country with the best media freedom for the sixth year in a row, followed by the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark. Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland are also among the top 10.

When it comes to the countries of Eastern Europe, Poland recorded a huge drop of 29 places due to its “ultra-conservative government that took control of the media”, said the organization. Disappointing results were also recorded by Russia (148) and Turkey (151).

Globally, the bottom of the rankings belongs to China, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea.

“Unfortunately, it is clear that many world leaders are developing a kind of paranoia towards journalists”, said Deloire. “The climate of fear results in a growing aversion to debate and pluralism and in repression of authoritarian governments towards the media. The guarantee for the public’s right to have independent and credible news and information is essential if we want to solve problems, both locally and globally”, he added.

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