Media freedom at lowest level in a decade

From Graham Ruddick at the Guardian:

The report’s authors measured freedom of expression in 172 countries between 2006 and 2016 through a metric they have described as the Expression Agenda. This is based on 32 social and political indicators such as media bias and corruption, internet censorship, access to justice, harassment of journalists, and equality for social classes and genders.

Hughes said journalists were threatened by intimidation, prosecution and even murder in some parts of the world; there were 426 attacks against journalists and media outlets in Mexico in 2016 alone. He believes the UK was responsible for one of the most draconian surveillance legislation in the form of the Investigatory Powers Act, which “offers a template for authoritarian regimes and seriously undermining the rights of its citizens to privacy and freedom of expression”.

BBC World Service journalists face particular pressure in Iran over the London-based Persian service. Iranian authorities have frozen the assets of at least 152 BBC Persian journalists and former contributors – preventing them from conducting financial transactions or selling properties in their homeland – and summoned family members of BBC staff who live in the country for questioning. The BBC has appealed to the United Nations about the conduct of the Iranian government.More.

Reality check: A number of causes are listed but surely the collapse of mainstream media in North America into mere mouthpieces for politicians has meant that media in less free countries have nothing to aspire to any more. One wonders, will the day come when most of the real news is secret or clandestine, as was the case centuries ago?

See also: Diversity Gestapo sent for Minnesota legislator

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