Reporters Without Borders warned that media freedom around the world is in a bad state with disinformation, propaganda, and artificial intelligence posing an increasing threat to journalism.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned that media freedom around the world is in a bad state with disinformation, propaganda, and artificial intelligence posing an increasing threat to journalism.
In its 2023 Press Freedom Index, which evaluates the environment for journalism in 180 countries and territories, is published on World Press Freedom Day (3 May)
RSF described the situation as “very serious” in 31 countries, “difficult” in 42, “problematic” in 55, and “good” or “satisfactory” in 52 countries.
This means effectively that the environment for journalism is “bad” in 7 out of 10 countries surveyed, and satisfactory in only 3 out of 10.
“This instability is the result of an increased aggressiveness on the part of the authorities in many countries and a growing animosity towards journalists on social media and in the physical world,” said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says the advent of the digital era has transformed the entire information journalism landscape.
“Digital platforms have given us countless new ways for us to inform and express ourselves. But they`re also providing fertile ground for those who sow disinformation and conspiracy theories. We find ourselves at a new crossroads,” said its Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.
Norway is ranked first for the seventh year running. But, unusually RSF says, a non-Nordic country is ranked second, namely Ireland (up 4 places at 2nd), ahead of Denmark (down 1 place at 3rd).
The Netherlands (6th) has risen 22 places, recovering the position it had in 2021 before crime reporter Peter R. de Vries was murdered. France gains two places and is ranked 24th. Brazil also progresses with the election of President Lula da Silva.
At the bottom of the rankings, the last three places are all occupied by Asian countries: Vietnam (178th), China (down 4 at 179th), and North Korea (180th).
According to the organisation, the Middle East /North Africa region remains the most dangerous region for journalists, in contrast to Europe, which is still the easiest region for reporters to work.