UK lowers press freedom index due to risk of Northern Ireland Freedom of the press | Instant News

Britain has again downgraded the World Press Freedom Index, largely because of threats to journalists in Northern Ireland.

Journalist Lyra McKee was killed last April when reporting riots in Derry, and police improperly obtained warrants to raid the homes of investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey.

A man has been charged with murder, which he has denied, in connection with the death of McKee who is 29 years old. Birney and McCaffrey spent almost a year on bail without charges after they highlighted collusion between police and murder suspects in 1994 The Loughinisland Massacre.

The annual press freedom list, produced by the Reporters Without Borders campaign group, surveyed the state of the media in 180 countries and territories. It was concluded that Britain had slipped two places to number 35 on the list, under countries including Costa Rica, Ghana and South Africa. The top spot goes to Norway for the fourth year running.

The director of the British organization, Rebecca Vincent, said: “We were surprised by some of the reports we received from journalists in Belfast and Derry, who were clearly among the most risky reporters in Britain.

“As we remember and respect Lyra McKee, we must also act to protect those who continue to take great risks to report information in the public interest. These problems must be addressed by the British authorities as an urgent priority issue to prevent further acts of violence. “

Although England last year hosted an international with a large budget Press freedom summitThe organization highlighted serious concerns about the country, including the decision of the police who met to treat the publication of leaked diplomatic cables which forced the British ambassador to Washington DC as a criminal matter.

Reporters Without Borders also highlights WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange 50 week imprisonment for violating bail requirements, said he should be released immediately rather than face extradition to the US. The organization also called on the British government to fulfill its promises, made Last july, to launch a national committee for the safety of journalists.

The corona virus pandemic is listed as a major threat to journalism, with the government taking advantage of the lockdown to impose media restrictions at the same time because many outlets face financial collapse.

The annual index is based on a survey of local media experts who assess issues such as the degree of media independence, transparency, and quality of infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

Malaysia and the Maldives recorded the biggest increase in the 2020 index after recent changes from the government, followed by Sudan, which climbed 16 places to 159 position after Omar al-Bashir’s removal as president. The biggest decline was in Haiti, where journalists were often targeted during national violence protests. The Comoros and Benin are also included in the list for violations of press freedom.

The best country for press freedom

1. Norway
2. Finland
3. Denmark
4. Sweden
5. Netherlands
6. Jamaica
7. Costa Rica
8. Switzerland
9. New Zealand
10. Portugal

26. Australia
35. United Kingdom
45. United States

The worst country for press freedom

171. Cuba
172. Laos
173. Iran
174. Syria
175. Vietnam
176. Djibouti
177. China
178. Eritrea
179. Turkmenistan
180. North Korea

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