Nigeria Drops In World Press Freedom Ranking

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PH slips one rank in world press-freedom index

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index categorised the media climate in more than three-fourths of the 180 countries and territories studied as "problematic", "difficult" or "very serious".

The report, released by Reporters Without Borders on Thursday, reveals an alarming trend in harassment and violence against journalists, including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians.

SPAIN has ranked 29 on a table of the countries with the most press freedom, up two places compared to previous year. They include Venezuela (down five at 148th), where journalists have reportedly been the victims of arrests and violence by security forces, and Russian Federation (down one at 149th), where the Kremlin has reportedly used arrests, arbitrary searches and draconian laws to step up pressure on independent media and the Internet.

According to RSF, Women journalists are a favorite target and are especially vulnerable in those regions where fundamentalist propaganda is heeded.

"Never before have United States journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection", it added.

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In June 2018, after expressing his hatred for the Capital Gazette newspaper on social media, Jarrod Ramos walked into the newsroom and killed four journalists and a staff member.

The persecution of MENA's journalists has even extended past its own borders as seen through the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

India, the world's biggest democracy, slid two notches further into the red zone at 140th place.

The Index is based on the level of pluralism, media independence, environment for the media and self-censorship, legal framework, transparency and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

"The government also said that journalists would no longer have to fear reprisals when they covered sensitive subjects, yet the reality is somewhat different".

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Times Now quoted the report as stating, "Attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased in the run-up to general elections in the spring of 2019".

The US dropped three spots from a year earlier to 48th.

Its near neighbour Tajikistan, where most of the independent media has been forced to close, fell 12 places, sitting just above Libya, Egypt, and Azerbaijan.

Armenia's ranking was up 19 spots to 61. Additionally, foreign reporters being denied permission to enter Kashmir has also been outlined.

But there was little to cheer about in China, which remains rooted to the bottom of the list with the fourth worst record.

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