Zim ranked 131 in press freedom

via Zim ranked 131 in press freedom – DailyNews Live 13 February 2015 by Bridget Mananavire

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s press freedom has slightly improved, moving the country four places on the world’s best and worst press freedom list compiled by Reporters without Borders (RSF).

The southern African country is however, still in the red, being ranked 131 out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index.

The RSF press freedom index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.

RSF also noted that no journalist or net-citizen in Zimbabwe was killed in 2014 because of one’s activities as a journalist.

However, the press freedom lobby organisation scored Zimbabwe 31.78 on abuses, a score which reflected the intensity of the violence and harassment to which journalists and other information providers were subjected to during the year.

“Top of the list, as so often, are three Scandinavian countries: Finland, which has been in first place for five years in succession, followed by Norway and Denmark.

“At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, in last place, were the worst performers. France is ranked 38th (up one place), the United States 49th (down three places), Japan 61st (down two places), Brazil 99 (up 12 places), Russia 152 (down four places), Iran 173rd (unchanged) and China 176th (down one place),” the Index report reads.

RSF said the 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlighted the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents, said RSF.