Armenia Leader in South Caucasus in 2014 World Press Freedom Index -
Conflicts in various countries had a negative impact on freedom of information and journalists, according to the latest report by Reporters Without Borders, the2014 World Press Freedom Index.
According to the report, in some countries the "tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner" has led to "the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies."
This year's report analyzes 180 countries: the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Armenia, are in the "Eastern Europe and Central Asia" section.
The region’s four best-placed countries in this year’s index are the same as last year: "Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan all enjoy a significant degree of pluralism and relatively little state censorship," reads the report. "But the considerable social polarization is reflected in the media and the climate for journalists, who are often harassed by pressure groups. Given that the political orientation of individual media usually coincides with that of their owners, it would seem that respect for the editorial independence of media employees is still limited."
Furthermore, Reporters Without Borders found that the 2013 elections in Georgia and Armenia were "calmer" than in the past: "Violence against journalists was rare. Armenia’s state broadcaster has progressed as regards impartiality but the electoral environment exacerbated the ongoing information war in the privately-owned media — a war in which the authorities have a clear advantage."
Armenia dropped four places compared to last year and occupies 78th place in the 2014 index. In terms of press freedom, it is the leader in the South Caucasus and the surrounding region. Georgia is in 84th place; Russia, 148th; Turkey, 154th; Azerbaijan, 160th; and Iran, 173rd.
The top 10 countries in terms of press freedom are Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, and Sweden. At the bottom are Turkmenistan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), and Eritrea.