Swiss ranked fifth in World Press Index

Switzerland has upgraded its place from seventh to fifth in this year’s World Press Freedom Index of 180 countries compiled by Reporters without Borders (RSF). However, the Swiss ascendance has taken place  in a deteriorating environment for journalists worldwide, including in Europe.

Prem Samy, responsible for the index at RSF, says there are two major reasons behind Swiss upgrade: “This year was a bit more optimistic for Switzerland, because the No Billag initiative, which was a threat to public TV and radio, was rejected by referendum,” he told swissinfo.ch.

The second reason is “purely mechanical”, Smay continued, because in the context of the countries like Costa Rica and Denmark dropping down, others move up.

While the “No Billag” initiative was a “threat that didn’t happen in the end”, Samy concluded the Swiss context “is still a bit dangerous in terms of pluralism and the restructuring that is coming, especially for ATS (the Swiss News Agency)”.

RSF says this year report reflects “growing animosity towards journalists” and the fact that “hostility towards the media from political leaders is no longer limited to authoritarian countries like Turkey and Egypt.”

“More and more democratically elected leaders see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion,” it continues.

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