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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 08.07.2020, 11:03

Estonia ranks 12th in Reporters Without Borders press freedom index

BC, Tallinn, 26.04.2017.Print version
Estonia is in 12th place among 180 countries in the 2017 Word Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Border (RSF).

Estonia has moved up two places compared to its ranking last year. Latvia is in 28th place and Lithuania in 36th place in 2017.

"Estonia has been among the top ten in press freedom for years. Estonia's weakness is that it's easy to bring defamation lawsuits and journalists have not been spared," the RSF said in its overview. "Legislative amendments adopted in 2010 made it possible for judges to jail reporters who refuse to reveal their sources for stories about serious crimes," the organization added.

Norway was in first place this year, overthrowing Finland who had been in first place for the past six years and ranked third this year. The top five also included Sweden in second place, Denmark in fourth place and the Netherlands in fifth place. At the other end of the spectrum was North Korea, who in 2017 ranked last. The bottom five also included Eritrea, China, Syria, and Turkmenistan.

Press freedom is in danger or in a "very bad situation" in 72 countries, including Russia, India, and China. "Attacks on journalism have become commonplace and leaders who use forceful means are on the increase. We have reached an era of post-truth, propaganda and oppressing freedoms, especially in democracies," the report said.

RSF has ranked a total of 16 countries as having the highest level of press freedom: the Nordic countries, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand. However, European countries like Portugal in 18th place, Spain in 29th place, France in 39th place and the United Kingdom in 40th place are already in the second category of press freedom and Italy, in 52nd place, already in the third category.

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