Despite some positive figures, the general situation of media freedom across the world has worsened and hostility towards journalists has increased. The number of countries considered safe for journalists continues to decline, with only 24% percent of the 180 countries classified as “good” or “fairly good” in 2019 and 2020 compared to 26% in 2018 and 27% in 2017.
Some 361 journalists are currently detained, down from 389 cases at the end of 2019. Almost a third of them are in China. The rest are concentrated in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam, Iran, Bahrain and Yemen. The number of journalists held hostage remained stable in 2019. They are held in four countries: Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Ukraine. Figures for 2020 concerning hostages are not available yet.
The annual Index of Reporters Without Borders ranks 180 countries and regions according to the degree of press freedom. Countries are scored between 0 and 100 taking into account criteria such as pluralism, media independence, legislative framework, transparency and level of abuse against journalists. The lower the score, the higher the level of press freedom in the country.
The coronavirus pandemic not only affected public health and the economy, but it also triggered another dangerous wave