Global press freedom – Europe tops the polls

The 2017 Press Freedom Index points to an overall decline in global press freedom.

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The Press Freedom Index is compiled annually by France-based Reporters without Borders (RSF).  It provides a snapshot of the media freedom in 180 countries.  

Data is collected using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data including information on violence against journalists, media independence and the legislative framework in each country. (More information on the methodology here.)

The top 20

Of the 20 best performing countries, 15 are in Europe.

  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Costa Rica
  • Switzerland
  • Jamaica
  • Belgium
  • Iceland
  • Austria
  • Estonia
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • Slovakia
  • Portugal
  • Australia
  • Surinam

 The United Kingdom has slipped two places to 40th; the USA has slipped two places to 43rd.

The findings are visualised in a colour-coded map which can be viewed here.