Malta has risen to third place in the Press Freedom Index, but is still one of the worst European countries, according to an annual assessment conducted by Reporters Without Borders.
The NGO report was published on Tuesday on World Press Freedom Day.
Malta 2022 Ranking 78th Locations in 180 countries are a slight increase from 81st Location, and for the first time since 2016 when Malta ranked 46th A place where the ranking of the country has improved.
“Journalists must deal with a highly polarized environment under the strong influence of political parties,” the NGO said in its report.
It also mentions the conclusions of the 2021 Daphne Kahlua Anagaritia public inquiry and a series of recommended comprehensive reforms. According to experts, the government was “reluctant to implement.”
Talking about the country’s political background, the report states that the government will exert a strong influence on public broadcasting and “use public service announcements to put pressure on the private media.”
“Many politicians choose specific journalists for exclusive interviews, but journalists who are considered” hostile “are ignored, even within the party media,” the report said.
Regarding the national legal framework, the report states that while freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution, legal and regulatory frameworks do not help journalists exercise their rights.
“Independent media is discriminated against in access to information, and journalists are subject to a strategic lawsuit against civil participation (SLAPP). The family of journalist Daphne Karoo Anagarizia, who was killed in 2017, said: It has been the target of post-mortem defamation proceedings. “
Economically, it is reportedly relatively easy to open media outlets, but small markets are limited to independent media that “is undermined by the opaque and discriminatory distribution of public funds.” We provide a source of funding.
The report points out how Maltese society “suffers from deep polarization.”
“Reports on specific topics such as migration and abortion are still unpopular and incite abuse against journalists dealing with these topics. Minority group journalists rarely work in mainstream media. The research coverage is done by a minority of journalists, mostly men. “
Finally, the report states that none of the suspects arrested for the murder of Daphne Kahlua-Ana Galicia have been tried and convicted, and recommendations from hearings about her death have been carried out too slowly. It points out that it has been done.
In a more general sense, Scandinavian countries are at the top of the rankings. Norway leads, followed by Denmark and Sweden. Estonia is 4ththFinland and Ireland are in 5th placeth And 6th Each.
Malta is ranked just above Serbia, Malawi, Northern Cyprus and Chile, and just below Peru, Nepal, Liberia and Panama.
For European Union countries, Hungary (85)th), Bulgaria (91st), And Greece (108)th) Other European countries that are not part of the EU, such as Serbia (79), rank below Maltath), Ukraine (106th), And Belarus (153)rd) The rank will also be lower.
This year, Reporters Without Borders said a new methodology was used to create the rankings. One was decided with the help of a committee of seven experts in the academic and media fields.
In the methodology used, press freedom is “news for the public good, as journalists, as individuals and as a group, independent of political, economic, legal and social interference, without threatening them. And effective possibilities for selecting, creating, and distributing information. ” Physical and mental safety. ”
To reflect the complexity of press freedom, we have created an index using five new indicators. Political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and security.
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-05-03/local-news/Malta-improves-by-three-places-in-World-Press-Freedom-Index-but-remains-fourth-worst-in-EU-6736242662 Malta has improved third in the Press Freedom Index, but remains the fourth worst in the EU.