Jamaica has moved up two places to sixth on the 2018 world press freedom index released by the France-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Tuesday night.
It’s highest ranking for a Caribbean country since 2002 when the index was introduced.
The index gauges press freedom in 180 countries around the world.
“Jamaica ranks among the countries that most respect freedom of information,” read a section of the 2018 report.
“The very occasional physical attacks on journalists must be offset against this, but no serious act of violence or threat to media freedom has been reported since February 2009, a month that saw two cases of abuse of authority by the Kingston police.”
The report noted too that the law decriminalising defamation passed by the House of Representatives in 2013 was a step in the right direction.
Another notable change this year is the decline recorded by the United States which has fallen from 43rd to 45th, continuing its downward trend in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
In contrast, its northern neighbour, Canada, gained four places due to steps taken to safeguard the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.
“In 2017, the 45th President of the United States helped sink the country to 45th place by labelling the press an ‘enemy of the American people’ in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempts to block White House access to multiple media outlets, routine use of the term ‘fake news’ in retaliation for critical reporting, and calling for media outlets’ broadcasting licenses to be revoked,” said a Reporters Without Borders spokesperson in a statement Tuesday night.
Top 10 countries – 2018 World Press Freedom Index
8. New Zealand
10. Costa Rica