World Press Freedom Index 2017 : Nigeria Ranks 122, drops 6 position from 2016

The World Press Freedom Index for the year 2017 shows that Nigeria Ranked 122 which means that the country dropped 6 places from 2016, 116 ranking. This is the second time that the ranking of the country drops since 2015.

The report states that ”In Nigeria, it is nearly impossible to cover stories involving politics, terrorism, or financial embezzlement. Journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials, police, and sometimes the public itself. 

“The all-powerful regional governors are often their most determined persecutors. As Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria nonetheless has more than 100 independent media outlets. Online freedom was recently curbed by a cyber-crime law that punishes bloggers in an arbitrary manner.

Generally, the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reflects the world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise. We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms – especially in democracies.

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World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of a tipping point in the state of media freedom, especially in leading democratic countries. (Read our analysis entitled Journalism weakened by democracy’s erosion.) Democracies began falling in the Index in preceding years and now, more than ever, nothing seems to be checking that fall.

The obsession with surveillance and violations of the right to the confidentiality of sources have contributed to the continuing decline of many countries previously regarded as virtuous. This includes the United States (down 2 places at 43rd), the United Kingdom (down 2 at 40th), Chile (down 2 at 33rd), and New Zealand (down 8 at 13th).

 

In the emerging new world of media control, even the top-ranked Nordic countries are slipping down the Index. After six years at the top, Finland (down 2 at 3rd) has surrendered its No. 1 position due to political pressure and conflicts of interests. The top spot has been taken by Norway (up 2 at 1st), which is not a European Union member. This is a blow for the European model. Sweden has risen six places to take 2nd position. Journalists continue to be threatened in Sweden but the authorities sent a positive signal in the past year by convicting several of those responsible. The cooperation between the police and certain media outlets and journalists’ unions was also seen as a step forward in combatting the threats.

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At the other end of the Index, Eritrea (179th) has surrendered last place to North Korea for the first time since 2007, after allowing closely-monitored foreign media crews into the country. North Korea (180th) continues to keep its population in ignorance and terror – even listening to a foreign radio broadcast can lead to a spell in a concentration camp. The Index’s bottom five also include Turkmenistan (178th), one of the world’s most repressive and self-isolated dictatorships, which keeps increasing its persecution of journalists, and Syria (177th), riven by a never-ending war and still the deadliest country for journalists, who are targeted by both its ruthless dictator and Jihadi rebels.

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