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Haiti advances in the 2024 world press freedom rankings

  • May 3, 2024
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Haiti climbed six places in the world press freedom rankings in 2024, positioning itself in 93rd place with a score of 55.92 ahead of Senegal (94th) and behind Guinea-Bissau (92nd). Last year, Haiti occupied 99th place with a score of 57.38 in this ranking.

“Haitian journalists suffer from a severe lack of financial resources, an absence of institutional support and difficult access to information. Since 2021, they have also been targeted by gangs, and are often victims of threats, assaults, kidnappings or murders with complete impunity. Since the fall of Ariel Henry’s government in March 2024, journalists have been caught between a wave of widespread violence and the social, economic and political crisis,” we read in the RSF report published this Friday, May 3, 2024.

Reporters Without Borders’ 2024 report highlights the failure of states to protect journalism this year. According to the NGO, political authorities worldwide are threatening press freedom, when they should be guaranteeing its integrity. The RSF ranking is based on five criteria: political, legal, economic, socio-cultural and security. For this 22nd edition, the political indicator recorded the largest decline, falling by 7.6 points, according to the NGO.

“RSF observes a worrying deterioration in support and respect for media autonomy and an increase in pressure exerted by the state or other political actors,” the report reads.

The top three places in the ranking, dominated by Norway, Denmark and Sweden, remain unchanged. Norway maintains its leading position for the eighth consecutive year, although its score is slightly down. Ireland fell to eighth place, ceding its second place to Denmark, due, according to RSF, to legal intimidation on the part of political groups in Dublin.

France is progressing slightly in the world press freedom rankings, moving from 24th to 21st place in 2024, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Germany moves from 21st to tenth place, while the United Kingdom, ranked 23rd, moves up three places. RSF emphasizes, however, that even in these countries where press freedom is not directly threatened by political attacks, vigilance remains necessary. The NGO mentions the arrest of French journalist Ariane Lavrilleux, as well as the continued detention of Julian Assange in the United Kingdom.

China, Vietnam and North Korea, which occupied the last three places in 2023, are replaced this year by Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea, due to a deterioration in the political indicator. RSF highlights that Afghanistan has continually repressed journalism since the Taliban returned to power, while Syria and Eritrea have become dangerous zones for the media, with a record number of journalists detained, disappeared or taken hostage.

The NGO also warns of the increased pressure that the press could experience in 2024, an electoral year with two billion citizens called to the polls. She warns against the coming to power of leaders hostile to press freedom, as in Argentina where the new president Javier Milei closed the country’s largest news agency, leading to a fall of 26 places in the ranking. RSF also highlights violence against journalists during electoral periods in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Finally, RSF highlights restrictions on press freedom in countries like Vietnam and China, where journalists who express themselves on social networks are regularly imprisoned, and in Italy, where attempts to acquire media by members of the political class are observed.

Recall that on April 12, a collective of more than 90 Haitian journalists, mainly based in Port-au-Prince and its surroundings and RSF launched an urgent appeal to the international community as well as to the new presidential transition council to take immediate measures aimed at protecting journalists and media “so that the country does not become an information desert”.

🔴 #RSFIndex | RSF unveils the 2024 World Press Freedom Index
1: Norway🇳🇴
2: Denmark🇩🇰
3: Sweden🇸🇪
10: Germany🇩🇪
21: France🇫🇷
55: United States🇺🇸
101: Israel🇮🇱
162: Russia🇷🇺
172: China🇨🇳
178: Afghanistan🇦🇫
179: Syria🇸🇾
180: Eritrea🇪🇷https://t.co/fdZ3RWSFjNpic.twitter.com/y30fUGVUQ2

— RSF (@RSF_inter) May 3, 2024

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Ravensley Boisrond