Finland ranks 5th in Press Freedom Index

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Like the previous year, Finland ranked fifth in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Sans Borders (RSF) on Wednesday.

In 2022, Finland´s rank slipped to fifth from second. Finland ranked second for three consecutive years in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Norway has topped the 2023 index for the third consecutive year followed by Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.

North Korea has ended up at the bottom of the list of 180 countries like the previous year, followed by China, Vietnam, Iran and Turkmenistan.

The RSF in its report said that the conviction of two reporters of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper in January 2013 on charges of revealing state secrets had a chilling effect on journalists covering national security issues.

It, however, pointed out that press freedom enjoys strong constitutional guarantees in Finland where the world’s first censorship ban was adopted under Swedish rule in 1766.

Limited legal sanctions can be ordered by courts in cases of defamation, extreme hate speech or high treason.

The confidentiality of sources is protected by law and can be suspended only by courts under limited conditions.

The 2023 global index spotlights the rapid effects that the digital ecosystem’s fake content industry has had on press freedom. In 118 countries (two-thirds of the 180 countries evaluated by the Index), most of the Index questionnaire’s respondents reported that political actors in their countries were often or systematically involved in massive disinformation or propaganda campaigns.

The difference is being blurred between true and false, real and artificial, facts and artifices, jeopardising the right to information. The unprecedented ability to tamper with content is being used to undermine those who embody quality journalism and weaken journalism itself.

“The World Press Freedom Index shows enormous volatility in situations, with major rises and falls and unprecedented changes, such as Brazil’s 18-place rise and Senegal’s 31-place fall. This instability is the result of increased aggressiveness on the part of the authorities in many countries and growing animosity towards journalists on social media and in the physical world. The volatility is also the consequence of growth in the fake content industry, which produces and distributes disinformation and provides the tools for manufacturing it,” said RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire.

  •  Finland
  •  PressFreedom


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