The World Press Index is an annual report based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists in each country. It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by an expert. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists.
This report is not an indicator of the quality of the journalism in each country.
The survival of independent news coverage is becoming increasingly precarious in both the state and privately-owned media because of the threat from ideologies, especially religious ideologies, that are hostile to media freedom, and from large-scale propaganda machines. Throughout the world, “oligarchs” are buying up media outlets and are exercising pressure that compounds that pressure already coming from governments.
Christophe Deloire, secretary general with RWB told the Guardian. “We are entering a new era of propaganda where new technologies allow the low-cost dissemination of their own communication, their information, as dictated. On the other side, journalists are the ones who get in the way.”
Christophe elaborates in the 2016 WPI report:
“Journalism worthy of the name must be defended against the increase in propaganda and media content that is made to order or sponsored by vested interests. Guaranteeing the public’s right to independent and reliable news and information is essential if humankind’s problems, both local and global, are to be solved.”
Among the lowest ranked countries were Syria, at 177th place just below China (176) and above North Korea (179) and last place East African country – Eritrea,