Ethiopia, Gambia most improved while Ghana falters in 2019 Press Freedom Index

GettyImages-1059275504

GettyImages-1059275504

This year's report reveals an increase in serious and frequent acts of violence against journalists across the world, triggered by an "intense climate of fear".

"Violence against journalists - including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians - is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India".

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

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul also "sent a chilling message to journalists well beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia", down three to 172, the report said.

The report notes that in India (down at 140th), critics of Hindu nationalism are branded as "anti-Indian" (or anti-nationals) in online harassment campaigns.

At the bottom of the Index, both Vietnam (176th) and China (177th) have fallen one place and Turkmenistan (down two at 180th) is now last, replacing North Korea (up one at 179th). "This results in appalling cyber-harassment campaigns in which journalists are threatened not only with death but also rape (as the troll armies like harassing women journalists, in particular)", the RSF report added.

The report also concluded that the period leading up to India's generations was a particularly risky time for journalists.

Amazon to pull plug on China retail operations
Amazon's China site has been running since 2015 but sales have lagged behind those of Chinese retail giant Alibaba. The online retailer now plans to focus on selling overseas products to Chinese customers rather than local goods.

The Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) said the Philippines had a global score of 43.91.

But the news was not all bad from the old Soviet empire, with Armenia jumping 19 places to 61st after its "Velvet Revolution" and Kyrgyzstan also climbing 15 after it ended travel bans and the threat of levying "astronomical damages" on reporters. Indeed some of the sharpest falls in press freedom were recorded in Africa.

The U.S. slid down the list three places and is now categorized as a "problematic" country for journalists' rights, according to RSF.

In 2018, various sections of the Nigerian media witnessed a series of attacks including a military raid on Daily Trust Newspaper premises, the arrest of Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist with Premium Times, for refusing to disclose his sources.

Angola too has seen steady gains.

Norway claimed the top spot for the third consecutive year, followed by Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

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