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Freedom of the Press 2016


According to the report published by Freedom House, Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power.

The share of the world’s population that enjoys a Free press stood at just 13 percent, meaning fewer than one in seven people live in countries where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to arduous legal or economic pressures.

Forty-one percent of the world’s population has a Partly Free press, and 46 percent live in Not Free media environments. Among the countries that suffered the largest declines in 2015 were Bangladesh, Turkey, Burundi, France, Serbia, Yemen, Egypt, Macedonia, and Zimbabwe.

Sharp declines worldwide were attributed to: heightened partisanship and schism in a country’s media environment, and the degree of intimidation and physical violence faced by journalists. These were most acute in the Middle East, where governments and militias increasingly pressured journalists and media houses to take sides, creating a “with us or against us” climate and demonizing those who refused to be browbeaten.

Ghana however suffered a decline from Free to Partly Free due increased attempts to limit coverage of news events and confiscation of equipment; increases in violence directed at journalists by the police, the military, political party members, and ordinary citizens, including the first murder of a journalist in more than 20 years; as well as continued electricity outages that impaired media production and distribution.

Credit: Freedom House