The Netherlands has received lower scores this year in terms of press freedom than its neighbors, such as Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. This is evident from the annual International Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders (VZG) drawn this year using a modified method. The Netherlands ranks 28th out of 180 countries in total.
The Scandinavian countries and, for example, New Zealand and Costa Rica are performing better than the Netherlands in the new list. Norway tops the list. Below are dictatorial countries like North Korea, but also countries like Eritrea, Iran, China, Egypt, Cuba and Vietnam.
To determine press freedom in a country, researchers look at all sorts of factors. This year they are divided into five sections. It is, for example, about security, legislative structure and politics.
For example, it explores the extent to which journalists can do their job without being pressured by politicians. The organization also examines the extent to which censorship exists in a country and whether journalists can work safely. Rankings are based on questionnaires submitted to journalists and lawyers.
This is not the first time VZG has published a press release. In previous years, the Netherlands scored better. For example, the Netherlands was second behind Finland three times. After 2018, the Netherlands collapsed structurally one place each year. The Netherlands was sixth last year.
The fact that the Netherlands is lower in the new rankings is due to the fact that the authors have adjusted the instructions behind the index. Earlier versions looked at seven types. Now more emphasis is being placed on the security sector of journalists. The Netherlands has received the lowest scores this year, especially in this category.
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