Henry Kirby in London -
Excluding Europe's two authoritarian regimes of Russia and Belarus, Macedonia and Ukraine have the joint worst records of press freedom on the continent, according to the Washington-based NGO Freedom House’s "Freedom of the Press 2015" report.
Both countries scored 58 out of 100 – with high scores denoting poor press freedom – narrowly squeaking into the study’s 30-59 ‘partially free’ bracket. Russia had a score of 83 and Belarus 93.
At 16, the best scoring Central and Eastern European/Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) country was Estonia, whose score far surpassed the US (22) and the UK (24). The second- and third-best CEE/CIS scores were achieved by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, at 21 and 24, respectively.
The annual study covers 199 countries and measures the degree of partisan control over news content, the public’s ability to access information, violations of press freedom including the murder of journalists, and economic pressures on media outlets and their means of distribution.
The average level of press freedom in CEE/CIS was 50.1 – worse than the world average of 48.6. The CEE/CIS average has not bettered the world average for over 20 years, as the first bne:Chart shows.
The lowest scoring CEE/CIS countries were Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – both of which scored 95. Only North Korea scored higher, at 97. Belarus’ score of 93 was the fifth-worst score, worldwide.
Use the interactive map below to see CEE/CIS press freedom scores since 1993. Hover over a country to see more information.
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