PARIS — Armenia is ranked 78th among 180 reviewed nations in the World Press Freedom Index released by the Reporters without Borders. This ranking is higher than its neighbors Georgia (84th), Turkey (154th) Azerbaijan (160th) and Iran (173rd).
According to the report, the four best-placed countries in this year’s index in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region are the same as last year. Although their positions in the index are fairly dispersed, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan all enjoy a significant degree of pluralism and relatively little state censorship.
“The 2013 elections in Georgia and Armenia were calmer than previous ones. Violence against journalists was rare. Armenia’s state broadcaster has progressed as regards impartiality but the electoral environment exacerbated the ongoing information war in the privately-owned media – a war in which the authorities have a clear advantage,” it says, in part.
Russia is placed 148th in the Index, Georgia is 84th, Turkey is 154th, Azerbaijan is 160th and Iran is 173rd.
The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies.
Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. This year’s index covers 180 countries.