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The ‘20s Will Be A Decisive Decade For Journalism

Reporters Without Borders have just launched the 2020 World Press Freedom Index and this new edition shows that the coming decade will be decisive for journalism. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the many crises that threaten the right to freely reported, independent, and reliable information.

The number of countries where journalists can do their jobs safely continues to decrease, while authoritarian regimes are steadily strengthening their grip on the press. Only 26 percent of the 180 countries and territories show a “good” or “satisfactory” situation for the media.

Throughout the last year, journalists in the United States (45th out of 180) were denigrated and harassed with few attacks as vitriolic as those that came from President Trump. Reporters continued to face physical assaults and arrests, and they experienced a rise in access denials that took place at the federal, state and local levels.

At US ports of entry, Customs and Border Protection officials were allegedly targeting journalists for secondary screenings, searching their belongings and electronic devices, and questioning them about their “propaganda” and “fake news” activities.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, journalists have been forced to challenge President Trump's consistent spread of misinformation while being subjected to his attacks during his press briefings.

Published annually since 2002, the importance of the World Press Freedom Index grows with each passing year. Thanks to your support, RSF researchers around the world are able to produce the Index, which informs our work to defend independent journalism.

I hope that as we enter this decisive decade for journalism you will remain a steadfast supporter of RSF USA. Our work is more critical than ever and I hope you will consider making a donation today.

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