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Haiti Falls in Reporters without Borders Freedom Index

by / Friday, 08 May 2015 / Published in Haiti News, Jim's Corner
Freedom_Index

The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.

According to the indicators compiled by Reporters Without Borders, there was a drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014.  Of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, two-thirds performed less well than in the previous year, including Haiti.

The report notes that:

“The Haitian media tend to be polarized between government supporters and critics, with the latter often experiencing difficulty in getting access to government-held information. The government often demonstrated a disturbing hostility towards its critics, and a desire to gag independent media.

Such an intimidatory climate clearly encourages self-censorship and thereby undermines freedom of information. Journalists were exposed to other forms of intimidation, including by police during protests. Haitian law still provides for prison sentences for defamation. Investigations into murders of journalists are unacceptably slow and subject to repeated obstruction, resulting in a disturbing level of impunity.

The Freedom Index numbers for Haiti:

Haiti_Freedom_Index_performance

 

This is a disturbing trend for the country, given that Haiti had seen improvements until recently in Freedom Index performance. What do you think about this trend in Haiti?

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