ArmInfo. Reporters Without Borders published the annual Press Freedom Index for 2019, according to which Armenia occupied 61st position on the list of 180 countries, thus improving its position by 19 points.
According to the report published on the organization's website, the free press situation in Armenia improved after the velvet revolution and the pressure of the authorities on state-owned media decreased. Armenia in the ranking scored 28.98 points.
In the region, Armenia yields only to Georgia, which this year improved its performance by one position and ranked 60th in the ranking. The report notes that the media environment in Georgia is pluralistic, but again very politicized. According to the authors of the report, the reforms carried out last year improved the situation in terms of transparency of media owners and satellite television pluralism, but media owners still often interfere in editorial policy.
Meanwhile, neighboring Azerbaijan this year has deteriorated its position and has taken the 166th position. Iran ranks 170th, also worsening by 6 points, while Turkey retained last year's result and ranked 157th.
At the same time, the report "Reporters Without Borders" emphasizes that journalists are increasingly forced to work in conditions of targeted defamation campaigns and threats of violence.
"Journalists increasingly have to work in an atmosphere of fear, in conditions where they are systematically harassed and forced to slander themselves. Including in Europe, targeted discrediting and aggressive campaigns of populist politicians against the media lead to physical violence," said Reporters Without Borders representative Katja Gloger. According to her, those who declare journalists guilty of all social problems prepare the ground for their harassment, the use of physical force and even murder. Reporters Without Borders states that the situation with press freedom in 2018 in European countries has generally deteriorated. However, at the same time, they emphasize that, despite this, Europe today remains the safest region of the world for media workers.
The leader of the ranking for the third time was Norway. It is followed by Finland and Sweden. Germany rose by two lines and took the 13th place, but this is not due to positive changes within the country, but to the fact that the working conditions of media representatives in other countries that occupied higher positions in the rating have deteriorated. The list closes Turkmenistan (180th place), North Korea (179) and Eritrea (178).