The 2019 edition of World Press Freedom Ranking has shown that Nigeria is still among the most unsafe countries to practice journalism. The country’s ranking dropped to 120 from 119 it was placed in 2018.
The world press freedom index is published by Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).
A total of 180 countries were captured in the survey with Norway ranked as the best country in terms of press freedom, and Turkmenistan, the worst, reports icir.
The survey noted that Nigeria, “Africa’s most populous nation has more than 100 independent newspapers and yet covering stories involving politics, terrorism or financial embezzlement by the powerful proves problematic”.
“Journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence or denied access to information by government officials, police and sometimes the public itself,” the report read.
The “unprecedented level of disinformation” spread by officials within Nigeria’s two major political parties during the 2019 general election was also cited as one of the reasons Nigeria dropped to 120th position.
According to the RSF survey, Nigeria is ranked 35th in Africa behind countries such as Congo Brazzaville, Mozambique, and Angola.
Ghana lost its spot as Africa’s best in terms of press freedom following the murder of Ahmed Suale, an investigative journalist working with Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana’s popular masked investigative reporter.
Namibia, ranked 23rd on the list, is now the best-ranked country in Africa, followed by Cape Verde (ranked 25th in the world), Ghana (27), South Africa (31) and Burkina Faso (44).
The top ten countries where the press is most free, according to the survey, are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherland, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belgium, and Costa Rica.
For more see icir