Ukraine ranks 96th in 2020 World Press Freedom Index
April 21: Ukraine has ranked 96th in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index drawn by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Last year, the country took the 102nd position. The best-ranking states are Norway, Finland, and Denmark.
“Ukraine has a diversified media landscape and its authorities have adopted a number of long-awaited reforms since the 2014 revolution, including a law on media ownership transparency. However, these gains are fragile, as the new independent public broadcaster’s under-financing has shown. Much more is needed to loosen the oligarchs’ tight grip on the media, encourage editorial independence and combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists,” the report reads.
The fact that Ukraine has risen by six positions against last year is due to a drop of other countries rather than any real progress, the organization admits.
“The change of government and the hopes raised by Volodymyr Zelensky’s election as president have not as yet reduced the threats and attacks against journalists,” the report reads.
“Ukraine’s increase in the World Press Freedom ratings is a technical one – it’s due to a drop of other countries. On the contrary, based on the scores that the RSF compiled, Ukraine records a worsening freedom of speech”, Oksana Romanyuk of the Institute of Mass Information adds.
In her words, impunity and physical aggression against journalists, as well as pressure from media owners and under-financing of independent public broadcaster remain among the major challenges in Ukraine.