Iceland in 13th Place of the Press Freedom Index

Video PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller- File

Video PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller- File

"A state of emergency has allowed authorities to eliminate dozens of media outlets with the stroke of a pen, reducing pluralism to a handful of low-circulated and targeted publications".

A decade ago, Turkey came in at 102nd - the 2018 index places Turkey at 157th, down two spots from past year.

Norway and Sweden were ranked at the top for press freedom for the second straight year, while North Korea, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China were ranked at the bottom.

It also said, "There is real pluralism, but media self-censorship is growing as a result of the endemic violence against journalists and media outlets, and the nearly systematic impunity enjoyed by those responsible".

The report warned that hate crime was another issue plaguing India.

In its assessment, Reporters Without Borders stated that Jamaica ranks among the countries that most respect freedom of information. He was described as a "media-bashing enthusiast" by the RSF in its latest report.

The annual report was released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

A seventh category - abuses - is also factored in, an effort to balance states with tightly controlled media environments against those which are particularly unsafe for journalists.

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Jamaica climbed to eighth overall, above Belgium and New Zealand, and Gambia jumped 21 places - the biggest rise in Africa - just ahead of Angola and Zimbabwe.

He added: "The political leaders who are despising journalists are undermining the principle of public debate that is based on facts rather than propaganda".

Ireland has fallen two places from 14 to 16 in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, due to what a media watchdog said is the "highly concentrated nature of media ownership in Ireland".

Moreover, the populist politics and the leaders of some countries, for example, the Czech Republic, negatively influence the democracy and freedom of the journalism. For example, the report mentioned that "after stifling independent voices at home, Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation (148th) is extending its propaganda network by means of media outlets such as RT and Sputnik, while Xi Jinping's China (176th) is exporting its tightly controlled news and information model in Asia".

It had even harsher words for Beijing, saying "Xi Jinping's China is getting closer and closer to a contemporary version of totalitarianism". The president often uses the term "fake news" in describing the American media.

The report notes that attacks on the media are "no longer limited to authoritarian countries" and that "democratically elected leaders" no longer see the media as essential.

On Asia, the report pointed out that the Chinese model of state-controlled news and information "is being copied in other Asian countries, especially Vietnam and Cambodia".

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