Georgia: Georgia’s position has dropped by 29 and ranks 89th out of 180 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, the ranking promoting and defending the freedom of information and the press worldwide.
The report was prepared by the international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF). In 2021, Georgia was ranked 60th in the Media Freedom Index with 71.36 points, but this year Georgia ranks 89th with 59.30 points.
The new points score for Georgia reflects a decrease compared to the last year.
As the organization notes in its report, in 2021, an unprecedented number of physical assaults were carried out on journalists in the country. According to the RSF, physical and verbal assaults on journalists are common.
The media landscape in the nation is “diverse” but “heavily polarised,” according to the organization, which also notes that media owners “kept their hand” in managing the editorial content of outlets. It also noted the expansion of regional and community radio stations in the midst of a drop in print media readership and an increase in online news viewership.
Moreover, following the assaults, the organization stated that “the lack of transparency and progress in investigations highlighted the impunity enjoyed by those who perpetrate crimes against journalists.”
The international organisation also mentioned the incidents of July 5 last year, when more than 50 journalists were attacked and injured while covering a right-wing counter-rally organised against the scheduled Tbilisi Pride march in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
Georgia was first featured in the organization’s report in 2013 and was placed 100th out of 180 nations.
Furthermore, the organization also went on to say that data collection for this year’s Index ended at the end of January 2022, but updates for countries where the situation “dramatically changed,” such as Russia, Ukraine, and Mali, were carried out from January to March 2022.
“Press freedom is described as the ability of journalists as individuals and collectives to choose, produce, and disseminate news in the public interest independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference and in the absence of threats to their physical and mental safety.”
The Index consists of five indicators – political, economic, legislative, social and security.
Out of 180 countries, the top 10 countries are as follows-
- Norway – 92.65 pts
- Denmark – 90.27 pts
- Sweden – 88.84 pts
- Estonia – 88.83 pts
- Finland – 88.4 pts
- Ireland – 88.30 pts
- Portugal – 87.07 pts
- Costa Rica – 85.92 pts
- Lithuania – 84.14 pts
- Liechtenstein – 84.03 pts