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Press freedom on decline, says Reporters Without Borders

Press freedom on decline, says Reporters Without Borders

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An advocacy group, Reporters Without Boarders on Wednesday said World press freedom deteriorated in 2015, especially in the Americas.

The group disclosed this in its annual world rankings and warned of “an new era of propaganda” The Guardian reports.

The World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries on indicators such as media independence, self censorship, the rule of law, transparency and abuses.

All of the indicators show a deterioration. Numerous authorities are trying to regain control of their countries, fearing overly open public debate.

Secretary General of the Paris-based group, Christophe Deloire said this year’s index saw a decline in all parts of the world.

“All of the indicators show a deterioration. Numerous authorities are trying to regain control of their countries, fearing overly open public debate,” he said.

According to the report, the situation is particularly grave in Latin America, highlighting “institutional violence” in Venezuela and Ecuador, organised crime in Honduras, Impunity in Colombia, corruption in Brazil and media concentration in Argentina as the main obstacle to press freedom.

Among the lowest ranked countries are, Syria at 177th place out of 180, just below China (176th) but above North Korea (179th) and last placed is Eritrea.

Asian country, Japan slumped to 72nd due to what the watchdog identified as self-censorship towards the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, while Finland retained its top spot for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Netherlands and Norway.