PH slips one rank in world press-freedom index

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Tightened political controls in China and Vietnam caused both countries to see further declines in press freedoms during the past year, with each dropping another point to 177 and 178 respectively in a 180-country ranking released by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders on Thursday.

Recalling his time in Belgium for study, the minister said it is among the top countries on the RSF ranking despite having laws to fine and punish journalists for publishing false information against someone.

"Never before have U.S. journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection", it added.

Most recently, Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested for planning a terrorist attack targeting journalists and politicians. In January, one reporter was punched in the face and her phone stolen, while interviewing voters in California.

The group cites the June shooting of four journalists and another staffer of the Capital Gazettein Annapolis as an example of hatred of the media.

Attack against journalists increased during last 5 years.

The Moon administration ended a decade-old conflict at public broadcasters Korean Broadcasting System and Munhwa Broadcasting Corp, where "journalists objected to having bosses foisted on them by the government", RSF said.

Meanwhile, the United States has dropped three places to 48th.

The RSF says that for Afghanistan's journalists, 2018 was the deadliest year since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

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Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, tells NPR that RSF's findings are not surprising.

In 2016, Kosovo was in 90th place on the Press Freedom Index.

Accusations of fake news have led to exponential increases in imprisoned journalists.

In reference to India, it found an alarming rate of "coordinated hate campaigns waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that annoy Hindutva". The police also detained a journalist for several days in an attempt to identify his sources.

Dolan says that globally, minorities and female journalists under the age of 35 have experienced a growing number of threats and online harassment.

The report measures the level of media freedom by looking at the level of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the worst regions for freedom of the press, according to the latest report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The responses were then combined with data on abuses against journalists.

Only 8% have a media climate considered "good".

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