Press freedom index in European countries 2020

Norway had the best press freedom index score in Europe in 2020 at 7.84, while the worst country was Bulgaria, which had an index score of 35.06. The index presents an overview of the plurality and independence of the media and how safe and free it is for journalist to do their job, with lower scores indicating a better situation for the press and higher scores a worse one.

Press freedom under attack


Journalists have come under attack in recent years from various quarters, either through intimidation or through draconian laws aimed at curtailing their freedom. In the bitter political climate of post-Brexit Britain for example, the press freedom index has gotten worse in recent years. Other major European countries such as Germany and Poland have also seen an increase in their scores, indicating a deteriorating situation for the fourth estate in general.

Journalist imprisonment


Since the turn of the century there has been a noticeable increase in the number of imprisoned journalists worldwide. In 2018 for example, over 250 journalists were put behind bars globally compared with just 81 in 2000.

Press freedom index in selected European countries in 2020*

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Source

Release date

2020

Region

Europe

Survey time period

2020

Supplementary notes

*Non-EU countries shown in gray

According to the source, the Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.
The countries surveyed were scored between 0 and 100, with 0 being the best possible result and 100 the worst, as follows:

From 0 to 15 points: Good situation
From 15.01 to 25 points: Satisfactory situation
From 25.01 to 35 points: Problematic situation
From 35.01 to 55 points: Difficult situation
From 55.01 to 100 points: Very serious situation

Date of release is date of access.

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