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Nigeria ranked 112th in global press freedom  print

Published on February 12, 2014 by   ·   4 Comments

The yearly World Press Freedom Index has ranked Nigeria 112th in the world, among nations where the media are seen as partly free. The latest ranking only moved Nigeria three steps up, as it was ranked 115th in 2013.

The Paris based media rights watch-dog, Reporters Without Borders defines the partly free countries as those characterised by some restrictions on political rights and civil liberties, often in a context of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic strife or civil war.

Namibia, Cape Verde and Ghana are three African nations listed among the top 30 nations where the press is free. Ghana is rated 27, Namibia, 22, Cape Verde 24. And scores of other African nations fared better than Nigeria. South Africa, Niger, Botswana, Senegal, Mauritania, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Benin, Togo, Kenya and even crisis-torn Central African Republic were rated above Nigeria.

Partly free newspapers in Nigeria

Partly free newspapers in Nigeria

This year’s report released today noted that conflicts weighed heavily on the media last year and that press freedom was also under increasing threat from abuses by democracies like the United States.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders warned of the “growing threat worldwide” from the “tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner”.

The United States was singled out for its pursuit of intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, the conviction of WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning and the secret seizure of phone records from the Associated Press.

The group, known by its French acronym RSF, said the United States had suffered “one of the most significant declines” in press freedom last year, dropping 13 places to 46th in the 180-country index, wedged between Romania and Haiti.

“Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it,” RSF said.

Syria remained especially deadly for journalists last year, with RSF reporting nearly 130 media professionals killed in the country since its conflict began in March 2011.

Syria’s overall ranking of fourth from the bottom was unchanged, but RSF has raised concerns about a surge in kidnappings.

Armed conflicts hurt press freedom elsewhere, with Mali falling 22 spots to 122nd and the Central African Republic dropping 43 places to 109th.

The top-ranked countries were Finland, The Netherlands and Norway, unchanged from last year.

At the bottom again were Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan, described by RSF as “news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them”.

Britain dropped three places in the ranking to 33rd, with RSF blaming the “disgraceful pressure” it put on newspaper The Guardian over its reporting of Snowden’s revelations of widespread spying by the US National Security Agency.

In Asia, Japan dropped five spots to 59th, with RSF criticising the adoption late last year of a new “intelligence protection” law that stiffens penalties for those who spill state secrets.

China, which dropped one spot to 175th, “continues to censor and jail dissident bloggers and journalists”, RSF said.

Bulgaria remained the lowest-ranked European Union country in the index, but was “closely challenged” by Greece, which is ranked 99th after years of financial pressure on the media and some violence against journalists.

The report also highlighted “noteworthy rises” in countries where “violence against journalists, direct censorship and misuse of judicial proceedings are on the decline” — including in Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

Here are some selected rankings from the index:

1. Finland

2. The Netherlands

3. Norway

14. Germany

16. Ireland

18. Canada

23. Belgium

28. Australia

33. Britain

39. France

42. South Africa

46. United States

59. Japan

109. Central African Republic

111. Brazil

112. Nigeria

122. Mali

127. Ukraine

140. India

148. Russia

152. Mexico

154. Turkey

158. Pakistan

159. Egypt

177. Syria

178. Turkmenistan

179. North Korea

180. Eritrea

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Posted by on February 12, 2014, 6:59 am. Filed under Metro, National, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Comments for “Nigeria ranked 112th in global press freedom”

  1. Suny Lulu

    The rate at which the country is slipping down is indescribable. On the other hand, Ghana and other neighbouring countries are daily rising because they are focused and doing their best to give corruption zero-tolerance. There can be no word for this national shame which can solely be ascribed to the country’s leadership. Corrupt ministers in Ghana are sacked while they are worshipped in Nigeria. Because the PDP govt has many things to hide it has not done much to throw its doors open for public scrutiny.

  2. omo-eko

    Suny Lulu,
    We should not always give credence to some of these self-appointed international rating agencies. A group of people sit in a cubicle somewhere and make stupid judgements based on very scanty data, and we lap it up.

    Whatever is wrong with our country, the area of press freedom is one area we are not doing too badly compared with the rest of the world. I would say any report which doesn’t place us within the top 50 in the world, and within the top 3 in Africa, is not worth the salt. Can you imagine that the godforsaken Niger Republic is placed ahead of Nigeria? That alone should tell you the worth of this agency and its report.

  3. Suny Lulu

    The real problem is that whether or not we give credence to them, the ratings always have multiplier effects on the way the other nations perceive us and our citizens. In any case, it would be in our national interest for the nation to carry out self-examination and try to find out whatever it is not doing well and make emendations as it wont help us to merely condemn international ratings. For the avoidance of doubt, I had at various times visited those three African nations and cant doubt the ratings!

  4. emmantoka

    The problem is that , the hatred of nigeria is just there

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