Freedom House’s 2018 Freedom in the World report, which was just released this week, signals an alarming trend: Democracy is in retreat. There were media freedom reversals in many countries spanning across regions, including long-standing democracies such as the United States and consolidated authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia.
Global press freedom has continued its decline, now at its lowest point in 13 years in 2016 due to unprecedented threats to journalists and media outlets in major democracies, intensified crackdowns by authoritarian states, and moves by Russia and China to increase their influence beyond their borders, according to Freedom of the Press 2017, the latest edition of Freedom House’s annual report on media freedom worldwide.
Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power, according to Freedom of the Press 2016, Freedom House’s annual report on media freedom worldwide. Only 14 percent of the world’s population enjoys a free press—that is, where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.
Here’s the annual map of global Internet freedom, drawn from Freedom on the Net 2015, released this week by Freedom House. The news is not good: Internet freedom worldwide declined for the fifth straight year in 2015, with more governments censoring information of public interest while expanding surveillance and restricting privacy tools, the report found. More than 61 percent of Internet users reside where criticism of governments, militaries, or ruling families have been subject to online censorship. A striking 58 percent live in countries where people have been imprisoned for posting political, social, or religious content.
The annual report on freedom of the press by Freedom House is out, and the results are grim: Freedom of the Press 2015 finds that harsh laws and violence have driven press freedom to its lowest level in over a decade. “Conditions for the media deteriorated sharply in 2014 to reach their lowest point in more than 10 years, as journalists around the world encountered more restrictions from governments, militants, criminals, and media owners,” states the report.
Freedom House is out with its annual look at global press freedom, and the news is pretty grim: press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade. Behind the decline were major losses in the Middle East, Turkey, Ukraine, and East Africa, as well as “deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.” There were positive developments in other places, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, but the dominant trends were not good: “setbacks in every other region,” according to the report. Only one in seven people now live in a country with a free press. For more on this, see Freedom of the Press 2014.
The percentage of the global population living in countries with a free press is at the lowest level in more than a decade, according to the findings of Freedom of the Press 2013: A Global Survey of Media Independence, a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Freedom House. The report found that just 14 percent of the world’s population — about one in six people—live in societies “where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.” The overall decline in press freedom is highlighted by various cases. As a region, Latin America experienced a further tightening of controls on the media, led by Ecuador and Paraguay, which dropped from Party Free to Not Free. Moreover, there was an important downturn in Mali and a significant deterioration in Greece. The report also notes uneven conditions in the Middle East in 2012, which again ranked as the world’s worst region for press freedom.