Press Freedom Deteriorates Globally, Bulgaria Ranks 112th in World Ranking – Reporters Without Borders

Society | April 20, 2021, Tuesday // 09:26
Bulgaria: Press Freedom Deteriorates Globally, Bulgaria Ranks 112th in World Ranking – Reporters Without Borders

There’s been a “dramatic deterioration” of press freedom since the pandemic tore across the world, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual report published Tuesday.

in this year's ranking Bulgaria is 112th from a total of 180 countries included in the index, the Paris-based NGO announced on its website.

Bulgaria has fallen one spot down since last year, when it was 111th.

In terms of media freedom it remains the last among the countries of the European Union, according to Reporters Without Borders. This country's worst ranking was 113th in 2016, and its best was 34th in 2002. It now ranks last among the EU Member States. The second worst performing country in the EU is Hungary which, at 92nd, is 10 places ahead of Bulgaria. In the Balkans, only Turkey (153rd) is ranked below Bulgaria, while Serbia (93rd), North Macedonia (90th), Greece (70th) and Romania (48th) are positioned better in the regional ranking.

The deterioration in Bulgaria's score is attributed, among other things, to increased attacks against journalists and arbitrary

Europe and the Americas continue to be the continents where the media freedom situation is most favourable. The Americas, however, came first in increasing incidents of regional clampdowns on mass media (by 2.5 percent).

The group’s new World Press Freedom Index, which evaluated the press situations in 180 countries, painted a stark picture and concluded that 73 percent of the world’s nations have serious issues with media freedoms.

It said many countries have used the coronavirus pandemic, which erupted in China in late 2019, “as grounds to block journalists’ access to information, sources and reporting in the field".

This is particularly the case in Asia, the Mideast and Europe, the media group said.

“Journalism is the best vaccine against disinformation,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire wrote in a statement.

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

Issues have also arisen from a drop in public trust in journalism itself. The group said 59 percent of people polled in 28 countries claimed that journalists “deliberately try to mislead the public by reporting information they know to be false".



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Tags: RSF, Press Freedom Index, pandemic, Bulgaria
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