Global press freedom hits fresh lows: watchdog

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014 (AFP) – World press freedom has hit its lowest level in a decade, amid regression in Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine, and US efforts to curb national security reporting, a survey showed Thursday. The report by Freedom House, which has been conducting annual surveys since 1980, found that the share of the world’s population with media rated “free” remained at 14 percent in 2013, or only one in seven people.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of the world population lived in areas where the media was “not free” and 42 percent in places where press was “partly free,” the Freedom of the Press 2014 report said.

“The overall trends are definitely negative,” said Karin Karlekar, project director of the report.

Karlekar said press freedom is under attack in many regions of the world.

“We saw a real focus on ‘attacking the messenger,'” she told a news conference, which included “deliberate targeting of foreign journalists” in many countries.

“In every region of the world last year, we found both governments and private actors attacking reporters, blocking their physical access to newsworthy events, censoring content, and ordering politically motivated firings of journalists,” she said.
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