Apr 22, 2021 - World

Global press freedom deteriorates amid pandemic

Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals

Journalism is seriously restricted in 132 of 180 countries included in Reporters without Borders' annual Press Freedom Index — a particularly dangerous state of affairs during the pandemic.

Breaking it down: Nordic countries are ranked high on the list for having "good" press freedoms, while China, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom. The U.S. is ranked 44th.

The trends:

  • Brazil has fallen into the second lowest category amid a campaign of "orchestrated public humiliation of journalists" by allies of President Jair Bolsonaro. Malaysia fell even further due to a new “anti-fake news” decree.
  • Burundi, Sierra Leone and Mali saw some of the largest improvements.
  • The worst region for press freedom remains the Middle East and North Africa.

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