Malta has been ranked as 65th in the World Press Freedom Index, a compilation of data from around the world carried out by Reporters Without Borders. The island has dropped a staggering 18 places since last year, and according to the report now places in a “problematic” zone.
Norway ranks first globally while North Korea trails behind at 180th.
Of the five countries that dropped the most on this year’s list, four of them were European and Malta dropped at least six spots more than the others. The other European countries who saw a decline are the Czech Republic, which dropped 11 places, as well as Slovakia and Serbia that both dropped 10 places.
The official article announcing the report was titled “Hatred of journalism threatens democracies” as the results show a general downward trend in many nations. The opening lines were also direct and didn’t pull any punches.
“Hostility towards the media, openly encouraged by political leaders, and the efforts of authoritarian regimes to export their vision of journalism pose a threat to democracies.”
Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland are the top five countries. With Malta currently ranking 65th, Haiti, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Niger and Malawi are the five nations ranked just above us.
The index makes direct reference to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia as one of the main contributing factors to Malta’s dramatic decline in the listing.
The five worst placements are North Korea, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China.