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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.