Arminfo.info




 Tuesday, April 20 2021 18:05
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia is among the countries where there are problems with freedom  of press according to Reporters Without Borders

Armenia is among the countries where there are problems with freedom  of press according to Reporters Without Borders

ArmInfo.Armenia was ranked 63rd in the Press Freedom Index according to the press support organization "Reporters Without Borders", thus entering the list of  brown countries (notable problems).

This is stated in the report on the website of the organization.  The Covid-19 pandemic's lasting impact on press freedom, unprecedented crackdowns on reporters  covering protests, and a war in the Caucasus, in which at least seven  journalists were injured and reporting was obstructed, all helped to  keep Eastern Europe and Central Asia in second from last position in  the 2021 Index's ranking of regions.

This year's index, which evaluates the press freedom situation in 180  countries and territories annually, shows that journalism,  journalism, which is arguably the best vaccine against the virus of  disinformation, is totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73  countries and constrained in 59 others, which together represent 73%  of the countries evaluated. These countries are classified as having  "very bad," "bad" or "problematic" environments for press freedom,  and are identified accordingly in black, red or orange on the World  Press Freedom map.

In many states, restrictions on the work of journalists were imposed  under the pretext of combating the spread of the coronavirus,  according to the RSF report.  The study shows that it is becoming  increasingly difficult for journalists around the world to  investigate and cover sensitive topics, especially in Asia and the  Middle East, but also in Europe, the report said.  Disinformation or  fake news that misleads the public has become a significant problem.

Norway is ranked first in the Index for the fifth year running even  though its media have complained of a lack of access to state-held  information about the pandemic. Finland maintained its position in  second place while Sweden (up 1 at 3rd) recovered its third place  ranking, which it had yielded to Denmark (down 1 at 4th) last year.  The 2021 Index demonstrates the success of these Nordic nations'  approach towards upholding press freedom.

This year, only 12 of the Index's 180 countries (7%) can claim to  offer a favourable environment for journalism, as opposed to 13  countries (8%) last year. The country to have been stripped of its  "good" classification is Germany (down 2 at 13th). Dozens of its  journalists were attacked by supporters of extremist and conspiracy  theory believers during protests against pandemic restrictions.

In another 36 countries, press freedom is considered normal (Yellow  List).  There are serious problems in 59 countries (Brown List). The  situation is bad in 51 countries (Red List).  Finally, in 20  countries, the situation with freedom of the press is extremely  difficult (Black List). At the very bottom of the "Index" are  Turkmenistan (178), North Korea (179) and Eritrea (180). These  countries retain absolute control over news and information. So, the  first two countries do not report anything about cases of COVID-19,  and the latter still does not explain the fate of a dozen journalists  arrested 20 years ago.  Europe and America (North and South) remain  continents with the most favorable press freedom indicators remain  Eastern Europe and Central Asia remain in the penultimate place in  their region, mainly due to events in Belarus (158th place), where  there was an unprecedented repression of journalists in order to hide  the scale of protests against the announced presidential election  results.  In a number of countries in Eastern Europe and Central  Asia, there have been "experiments" to completely block the Internet  using the software of multinational corporations such as Allot and  Sandvine. In the Caucasus, this happened in Azerbaijan (167th place)  during the fall of 2020 conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.  The rampant  censorship of some governments was aimed at controlling information,  as in Russia (150th place, -1). There, independent media outlets have  come under intense pressure for months to combat false information  from authorities about how the Covid-19 pandemic is progressing.   Neighboring Georgia is in 60th place, and is among the countries on  the Brown List.  The closest neighbors of Azerbaijan are Tajikistan  (162), Iraq (163), Libya (164), Egypt (166). Azerbaijan is ahead of  Saudi Arabia (171), Syria (174), China (177).  Published since 2002,  the Press Freedom Index is the main tool for protecting journalists.  This is a reflection of the situation with freedom of the media,  based on an assessment of pluralism, media independence, legislation  and the protection of journalists in the country. 


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