The organization Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index measures press freedom annually in 180 different countries and regions.

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The international non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently published the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, which ranks 180 countries based on the level of freedom enjoyed by journalists. Although Finland retained its fifth-place ranking overall, its score on the safety of journalists indicator plummeted 13 places to 23rd.

According to Yrsa Grüne-Luoma, the Chair of RSF Finland, Finland's drop in the safety of journalists ranking is alarming and is due to the lawsuit against Helsingin Sanomat's journalists. In 2021, the Helsinki District Court convicted the newspaper's journalists in a case related to the publication of an article about Finland's intelligence agency. The verdict sparked widespread criticism from journalists and human rights organizations, who saw it as a threat to press freedom in Finland.

The World Press Freedom Index also reveals that press freedom is deteriorating worldwide due to the rise of disinformation and the aggressive actions of authorities towards journalists. The report also notes that no country in North or South America is rated as "good" for press freedom, while the situation in Africa has significantly worsened. The proliferation of disinformation has played a significant role in this trend, says RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.

Twitter's role in spreading disinformation is also a matter of concern for RSF. The organization warns that Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, is prioritizing paid content over the accuracy of the information. The increasing use of artificial intelligence to generate disinformation is also alarming.

The 2022 World Press Freedom Index underscores the need for governments to protect journalists and ensure that they can work independently without fear of prosecution. Without this protection, the press's ability to hold those in power accountable is severely compromised.

HT

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