How Free Is the Press in the World's Richest Countries
Across the world, freedom of the press is entering a critical era. According to scores compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a non-profit organization protecting journalists, several crises — from the coronavirus pandemic to a polarized public — are affecting journalism. The wealthiest countries in the world are not immune to changes in the media industry.
24/7 Wall St. ranked 2020 World Press Freedom Index scores from RSF in the 50 countries with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Elected leaders in many democracies, which are known for having free and independent media, have tried to silence critical outlets and promote those that offer favorable coverage.
Even the president of the United States, a country famous for its fierce defense of its First Amendment that guarantees freedom of the press, has frequently demonised the news media as the “enemy of the people.” His rhetoric has given succor to political leaders in other countries who have passed bills making “fake news” illegal and have framed articles they don’t like as bogus news.
When it comes to press freedom, one region stands out. Scandinavian countries continue to lead the world, and western Europe media remains mostly free despite a few wobbles. These two regions lead the way in another important area — these are countries that have come closest to true gender equality.