Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Finland ranks 4rth in Press Freedom Index

26 Apr 2018, 02:25 ( 11 Months ago) | updated: 26 Apr 2018, 10:35 ( 11 Months ago)

DF Report by Gianfranco Nitti
DF File Photo.

Finland ranked fourth in the Press Freedom Index 2018 published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday.

This is the second year in a row that Finland has dropped down the Index, after holding the top rank for five consecutive years till 2016.

Norway ranked top in the list followed by another Nordic country Sweden and the Netherlands.

North Korea is in the bottom of the list in 180 countries along with Eretria, Turkmenistan, Syria, China and Vietnam.

The image of Finland’s flagship public broadcaster Yle was dented in December 2016 by the so-called “Sipilägate” scandal, in which Prime Minister Juha Sipilä allegedly pressured Yle to modify its coverage of a story involving him.

Meanwhile, the residence of a journalist of a leading Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat, was searched in December 2017 after she reported in the newspaper that a Finnish military intelligence agency had been spying on Russia.

A court ruled that, despite the search, the confidentiality of her sources had not been violated.

A major enquiry is still under way to determine whether she and her colleagues broke the law by publishing classified military files.

Germany ranked 15 while the United States 45th, Italy 46th place.

RSF states to be concerned about the trend towards politicians in many parts of the world questioning the credibility of journalists and their reporting. Hostility toward journalists and media poses a serious threat to democracies around the world, including within Europe.

As a region, Europe still ranks the highest on RSF's index, but its rating also dropped more than that of any other region this year.