Russia Maintains Status Quo in 2014 Press Freedom Rankings

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 13, 2014) Russia came 148th out of 180 countries on this year’s press freedom rankings from Reporters Without Borders, keeping the same spot that it occupied last year.

France-based Reporters Without Borders said that the level of freedom of information violations throughout the world increased by 1.8 percent compared with 2012.

Some of the countries with the biggest ranking drops included the United States, which fell 13 spots to 46th for its “hunt for leaks and whistleblowers,” and the Central African Republic, which has been beset by violent clashes between Christian militias and Muslims. It fell 43 spots to 109th.

Georgia was one of the countries that made great strides, jumping 17 places to 84th.

Russia traditionally does poorly in the ranking and this year was sandwiched between Malaysia and the Philippines.

Notes accompanying the index point to high levels of self-censorship and the arrest of journalists as reasons for Russia’s low position.

As was the case in 2013, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway were the top three countries.

The lowest ranked countries were Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.

The annual rankings are compiled based on the following criteria: the level of abuses, the extent of pluralism, media independence, working-environment and self-censorship, the legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure in the press world.