• Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Bangladesh slips by one notch to 152 in World Press Freedom Index

  • Published at 02:05 pm April 20th, 2021
Press Freedom- media freedom
Representational image Bigstock

The country had ranked 151st in 2020, and 150th in 2019

Bangladesh has been ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in this year’s World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) by Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF).    

The country had ranked 151st in 2020 and 150th in 2019. 

The RSF annual report said that journalism was at least partly blocked in nearly three-quarters of the 180 countries surveyed.

The WPFI found 73 countries “totally blocked or seriously impeded” journalism, while it was “constrained” in 59 others, adding that many governments had used the pandemic to worsen repression, read an AFP report.

Meanwhile, RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire, in a statement, said: “Journalism is the best vaccine against disinformation.

“Unfortunately, its production and distribution are too often blocked by political, economic, technological and, sometimes, even cultural factors.”

Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, China, and Djibouti fared worst overall in this year’s RSF ranking.

Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Costa Rica were ranked highest.

The Middle East and North Africa region continues to be the most repressive for journalists, the report found, highlighting the worsening situation in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria over the past year.

“In this region, still the toughest and most dangerous for journalists, the pandemic has exacerbated the problems that have long plagued the press, which was already in its death throes,” RSF said.

Malaysia recorded the worst deterioration, down 18 places in the ranking to 119, due in part to a recent “anti-fake news” law “allowing the government to impose its own version of the truth”.

RSF said the global level of media freedom remained largely stable overall for the past year, but noted that the figures had deteriorated by 12% since the ranking was first launched in 2013.

Part of the problem is falling trust in journalists, fuelled by political polarization and online misinformation.

RSF noted a recent survey by the Edelman Trust that found 59% of respondents across 28 countries believed journalists deliberately misled the public.

The World Press Freedom Index is based on questionnaires sent to experts around the world, combined with data on abuse and acts of violence against journalists to form a picture that includes pluralism, media independence, self-censorship, and other factors.

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