Source: Reporters without borders

The purpose of the World Press Freedom Index is to compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media in 180 countries and territories. This comparison is based on a definition of press freedom formulated by RSF and its panel experts when developing the new methodology to be used from 2022 onwards

 “Press freedom is defined as the ability of journalists as individuals and collectives to select, produce, and disseminate news in the public interest independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference and in the absence of threats to their physical and mental safety.”

The Index is a snapshot of the situation in the 180 countries and territories during the calendar year (January-December) prior to its publication. Nonetheless, it is meant to be seen as an accurate reflection of the situation at the time of publication.

Therefore, when the press freedom situation changes dramatically in a country between the end of the year assessed and publication, the data is updated to take account of the most recent events possible. This may be related to a new war, a coup d'état, an unprecedented or very unusual major attack on journalists, or the sudden introduction of an extreme repressive policy. For the 2022 Index, this exceptional procedure was used with Russia, Ukraine and Mali.

Scoring territories and countries

The Index’s rankings are based on a score ranging from 0 to 100 that is assigned to each country or territory, with 100 being the best possible score (the highest possible level of press freedom) and 0 the worst.

This score is calculated on the basis of two components:

  • quantitative tally of abuses against journalists in connection with their work, and against media outlets;
  • qualitative analysis of the situation in each country or territory based on the responses of press freedom specialists (including journalists, researchers, academics and human rights defenders) to an RSF questionnaire available in 23 languages.

Evaluation criteria: five contextual indicators

Each country or territory’s score is evaluated using five contextual indicators that reflect the press freedom situation in all of its complexity: political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context and safety.

A subsidiary score ranging from 0 to 100 is calculated for each indicator. All of the subsidiary scores contribute equally to the global score. And within each indicator, all the questions and subquestions have equal weight.

Political context: 33 questions and subquestions. They aim to evaluate:

  • the degree of support and respect for media autonomy vis-à-vis political pressure from the state or from other political actors;
  • the level of acceptance of a variety of journalistic approaches satisfying professional standards, including politically aligned approaches and independent approaches;
  • the degree of support for the media in their role of holding politicians and government to account in the public interest.

Legal framework: 25 questions and subquestions. They concern the legislative and regulatory environment for journalists, in particular:

  • the degree to which journalists and media are free to work without censorship or judicial sanctions, or excessive restrictions on their freedom of expression;
  • the ability to access information without discrimination between journalists, and the ability to protect sources;
  • the presence or absence of impunity for those responsible for acts of violence against journalists.

Economic context: 25 questions and subquestions. They aim to evaluate in particular:

  • economic constraints linked to governmental policies (including the difficulty of creating a news media outlet, favouritism in the allocation of state subsidies, and corruption);
  • economic constraints linked to non-state actors (advertisers and commercial partners);
  • economic constraints linked to media owners seeking to promote or defend their business interests.

Sociocultural context: 22 questions and subquestions. They aim to evaluate in particular:

  • social constraints resulting from denigration and attacks on the press based on such issues as gender, class, ethnicity and religion;
  • cultural constraints, including pressure on journalists to not question certain bastions of power or influence or not cover certain issues because it would run counter to the prevailing culture in the country or territory.

Safety: 12 questions and subquestions (⅔ of the safety score). 1 abuses score (⅓ of the safety score)

The questions concern journalists’ safety. For this purpose, press freedom is defined as the ability to identify, gather and disseminate news and information in accordance with journalistic methods and ethics, without unnecessary risk of:

  • bodily harm (including murder, violence, arrest, detention and abduction);
  • psychological or emotional distress that could result from intimidation, coercion, harassment, surveillance, doxing (publication of personal information with malicious intent), degrading or hateful speech, smears and other threats targeting journalists or their loved-ones;
  • professional harm resulting from, for example, the loss of one’s job, the confiscation or professional equipment, or the ransacking of installations.

Ranking on a scale from 0-100 points

  1. Norway 92.65
  2. Denmark 90.27
  3. Sweden 88.84
  4. Estonia 88.83
  5. Finland 88.42
  6. Ireland 88.3
  7. Portugal 87.07
  8. Lithuania 84.14
  9. Liechtenstein 84.03
  10. Switzerland 82.72
  11. Iceland 82.69
  12. Germany 82.04
  13. Czech Republic 80.54
  14. Luxembourg 79.81
  15. Latvia 79.17
  16. Belgium 78.86
  17. United Kingdom 78.71
  18. France 78.53
  19. Slovakia 78.37
  20. Netherlands 77.93
  21. Austria 76.74
  22. Spain 76.71
  23. Moldova 73.47
  24. Croatia 70.42
  25. Armenia 68.97
  26. Andorra 68.79
  27. Slovenia 68.54
  28. Romania 68.46
  29. North Macedonia 68.44
  30. Italy 68.16
  31. Kosovo 67
  32. Montenegro 66.54
  33. Cyprus 65.97
  34. Poland 65.64
  35. Bosnia and Herzegovina 65.64
  36. Malta 61.55
  37. Serbia 61.51
  38. Northern Cyprus 61.08
  39. Hungary 59.8
  40. Georgia 59.3
  41. Bulgaria 59.12
  42. Albania 56.41
  43. Ukraine 55.76
  44. Greece 55.52
  45. Turkey 41.25





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