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Freedom of expression in under pressure globally.

Journalism under pressure – World Press Freedom Day

States and other political forces are playing a decreasing role in protecting press freedom, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says in its World Press Freedom Index published on World Press Freedom Day on May 3. 

“The war in Gaza has been marked by a record number of violations against journalists and the media since October 2023. More than 100 Palestinian reporters have been killed by the Israel Defence Forces, including at least 22 in the course of their work”, says Anne Bocandé, RSF editorial director.

“Occupied and under constant Israeli bombardment, Palestine is ranked 157th out of 180 countries and territories surveyed in the overall 2024 World Press Freedom Index, but it is ranked among the last 10 with regard to security for journalists”, RSF says.

RFS says that in the absence of regulation, the use of generative AI in the arsenal of disinformation for political purposes is a concern. 

“Deepfakes now occupy a leading position in influencing the course of elections.”

“Many governments have stepped up their control over social media and the Internet, restricting access, blocking accounts, and suppressing messages carrying news and information.” 

“Some political groups fuel hatred and distrust of journalists by insulting them, discrediting them, and threatening them.” 

“Others are orchestrating a takeover of the media ecosystem, whether through state-owned media under their control, or privately owned media via acquisitions by allied businessmen. Giorgia Meloni’s Italy (46th) – where a member of the ruling parliamentary coalition is trying to acquire the second biggest news agency (AGI) – has fallen five places this year.”

RSF says that in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, media censorship has intensified in a spectacular mimicry of Russian repressive methods, especially in Belarus (down 10 to 167th), Georgia (103rd), Kyrgyzstan (120th), and Azerbaijan (down 13 to 164th). 

“Kremlin influence has reached as far as Serbia (down seven to 98th), where pro-government media carry Russian propaganda and the authorities threaten exiled Russian journalists.” 

“Russia (162nd), where Vladimir Putin was unsurprisingly reelected in 2024, continues to wage a war in Ukraine (61st) that has had a big impact on the media ecosystem and journalists’ safety.”


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