TODAY marks the observance of World Press Freedom Day, which only serves to highlight the sobering fact that last year saw the global level of press freedom sink to its lowest point in 12 years, according to the Freedom of the Press 2016 index.
The index was released as part of the Freedom of the Press 2016 report, which put the global average score for press freedom at 48.9 – its lowest since 2003.
The annual report, which is published by U.S.-based non-profit Freedom House, went on to say that only 13 percent of world’s population enjoys free press; while 41 percent had partly free press, and 46 percent had no free press.
The report’s director of research, Jennifer Dunham, said that journalists around the world are facing an increasingly hostile media environment, be it through oppressive laws, pressure from governments and corporate entities, or physical endangerment.
“Governments used security or anti-terrorism laws as a pretext to silence critical voices, militant groups and criminal gangs used increasingly brazen tactics to intimidate journalists, and media owners attempted to manipulate news content to serve their political or business interests,” she said. Read more