Estonia once again in the top 10 of the world press freedom index

Compared with last year, Estonia has improved its position by one place in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index 2015.

The index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.

Although Estonia improved its position by one notch, it had its best position in 2007, at the third position.

Estonia’s position in the index since 2003

Year Position
2014 11
2013 11
2012 11
2011
2010 9
2009 6
2008 4
2007 3
2006 6
2005 11
2004 11
2003 12

At the top of the list are the three Scandinavian countries: Finland, which has been in first place for five years in succession; followed by Norway and Denmark. At the other end of the scale we find Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea as the worst performers. Estonia’s southern neighbours Latvia and Lithuania were at 28 and 31, respectively. Estonia’s eastern neighbour Russia was at number 152.

The top 10 countries in the world press freedom index 2015

  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Netherlands
  5. Sweden
  6. New Zealand
  7. Austria
  8. Canada
  9. Jamaica
  10. Estonia

Reporters Without Borders said there was a worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. “Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents,” the organisation said. “There was a drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 world press freedom index performed less well than in the previous year.”

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Cover: Free Press.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.