Order. Freedom of the press: France 21, big setback for Milei’s Argentina


Argentina, now led by ultra-liberal President Javier Milea, is among the countries losing the most places in the annual press freedom rankings released this Friday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Norway remains the best, while Eritrea is in last place, followed by North Korea. France moves from 24th to 21st position. This improvement comes from the “mechanics of evaluation,” while the country’s indicators are actually “stagnant,” notes Anne Bocandé, editorial director of the NGO Defending Journalists.

“Predators” in Argentina

The most significant declines are observed in Afghanistan under the Taliban empire (178th, -26 places), Togo (113th, -43), Ecuador (110th, -30), Georgia (103rd, -26 places), Burkina Faso (86 . , -28) or in Argentina (66th, -26 places). In that country, the new president, ultra-liberal Javier Milei, announced in March the closure of the public news agency Télam, which he accused of “propaganda”. “The situation is particularly worrying” in Argentina, which is led by one of the “proclaimed predators of press freedom”, estimates RSF.

According to the 2024 edition of this benchmark ranking, conditions for the practice of journalism are poor in three-quarters of countries. The bottom ten are made up of China, Iran, North Korea, as well as Syria and Eritrea, “two countries that have become lawless zones for the media, with record numbers of journalists detained, missing or held hostage,” according to RSF.

70% of journalists covering the environment are victims of threats, pressure or attacks

More than 70% of journalists from 129 countries who cover environmental issues say they have been the victims of threats, pressure or attacks, Unesco warns in a survey released on Friday to mark World Freedom Day.

In its new report, “The Press and the Planet at Risk,” UNESCO says it surveyed 905 journalists in March and that more than 70% of them said they had been the target of “attacks, threats or pressure” in connection with their investigations. to environmental problems. Among them, two out of five said they had been subjected to physical violence.

Political pressures

The 22nd edition of this ranking highlights the political pressure on journalists in particular. Specialists involved in the development of the ranking generally observe “an alarming deterioration of support and respect for the autonomy of the media and an increase in pressure from the state or other political actors.”

This despite the fact that “2024 is the biggest election year in world history”, with at least one election affecting nearly half the population. This classification is made by RSF based on a “quantitative survey of abuses against journalists” on the one hand and a “qualitative study” on the other. This is based “on the answers of hundreds of press freedom experts (journalists, academics, human rights defenders) to approximately one hundred questions”.

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