Jun 6, 2019 - Economy

Press freedom is eroding around the world

Data: Freedom House; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Freedom House; Chart: Axios Visuals

Press freedom has fallen in 1 in 5 countries over the past 5 years, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

But, but, but: "Media freedom can recover much more quickly after a period of authoritarian governance than some other elements of democracy, such as the rule of law," the report notes.

The bad: "Viktor Orbán’s government in Hungary and Aleksandar Vučić’s administration in Serbia have had great success in snuffing out critical journalism, blazing a trail for populist forces elsewhere."

  • In Israel, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly excoriated investigative reporters and now faces corruption charges for allegedly offering regulatory favors ... in exchange for positive coverage."
  • In India, the ruling BJP has attempted to "discourage speech that is 'antinational,' and government-aligned thugs have raided critical journalists’ homes and offices."
  • "President Trump’s public stance on press freedom has had a tangible impact on the global landscape."

The good: Press freedom is improving in Ethiopia, Malaysia, Armenia, Ecuador and Gambia.

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