Germany falls in the Press Freedom Rankings

Germany falls in the Press Freedom Rankings

Germany has once again fallen in the “Press Freedom Rankings”, a ranking published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The ranking looks to determine in which countries journalists are hindered by factors such as state repression and violence.

World Press Freedom Index 2022

The international association for press freedom Reporters Without Border has published its annual World Press Freedom Index, which determines the freedom of the press in 180 countries around the world. The RSF determines the press freedom of each country on the basis of two factors: the number of abuses against media outlets and journalists in connection with their work, and an analysis of the situation in each country, which is based on the answers experts give to an RSF questionnaire.

Each country included in the World Press Freedom Index is given a score from 0 to 100 across five categories, with 100 being the highest level of press freedom. The five categories used to determine each country’s score are:

  • Political context (e.g. support for the media in holding politicians and government accountable)
  • Legal framework (e.g. the level that journalists can work without censorship or restrictions)
  • Economic context (e.g economic restrictions from the government or media owners)
  • Sociocultural context (e.g. pressuring journalists not to question certain powerful institutions)
  • Safety (e.g. instances of physical or mental harm against journalists)

Germany falls three places in Press Freedom Rankings

Germany has, once again, slipped in the World Press Freedom rankings in 2022, after falling out of the top group last year, when it slipped to 13th place, due to a significant rise in the number of attacks against media workers. Since then, press freedom in Germany has been considered only “satisfactory”. This year, Germany has fallen three places in the ranking, coming in 16th place, which is lower than countries such as Lithuania, Jamaica and Seychelles.

Regarding Germany dropping down in the ranking, the RSF explained: “Three reasons are central to this development: legislation that endangers journalists and their sources, declining media diversity and, above all, violence during demonstrations." 

There have been 80 verified attacks against journalists in Germany this past year, the highest since records began in 2013. The previous record for attacks was set last year, with 65 cases registered. "Most of the attacks (52 out of 80) occurred during protests of the "lateral thinking" (Querdenker) group against corona measures, in which violent neo-Nazis and extreme right-wing groups regularly took part. Media workers were spat on, kicked, knocked unconscious. Those affected often complained about a lack of support from the police. 12 police attacks on the press were also documented," said the RSF.

The best and worst countries for press freedom

The top five highest-ranked countries in the world in terms of press freedom are:

  1. Norway (92,65)
  2. Denmark (90,27)
  3. Sweden (88,84)
  4. Estonia (88,83)
  5. Finland (88,42)

The worst-ranked countries are:

  1. North Korea (13,92)
  2. Eritrea (19,62)
  3. Iran (23,22)
  4. Turkmenistan (25,01)
  5. Myanmar (25,03)
William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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