The Netherlands loses a place in the 2021 Press Freedom Index
A report ranking press freedoms in 180 countries around the world placed the Netherlands sixth in the world – a respectable performance, but slightly lower than the fifth place the country achieved in 2020.
World Press Freedom Index 2021
Compiled by the association of journalists Reporters Without Borders, the World Press Freedom Index examines press freedom in 180 countries around the world. By interviewing a number of experts and analyzing data on abuse and acts of violence against journalists, the annual report ranks each country according to its level of freedom.
Each country is assigned an overall score out of 100, based on its performance on a series of seven criteria:
- Media independence
- Environment and self-censorship
- Legislative framework
The 2021 report ranks Norway first in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with a score of 6.72. Finland comes second (6.99) followed by Sweden (7.24). Turkmenistan (80.03), North Korea (81.28) and Eritrea (81.45) occupy the last places.
Freedom of the press in the Netherlands
This year, the Netherlands has fallen from fifth to sixth place, with an overall score of 9.67 out of 100. Although this means that the country still falls into the “Good situation” category, it is the worst performance of the Netherlands since the inception of the index. in 2013, and marks the second consecutive year that the country has fallen in the ranking.
Overall, the World Press Freedom Index notes that journalists in the Netherlands have “been able to work freely, enjoying the respect of a large part of the population as well as legislative and institutional protection”. The Dutch police have also constantly reinforced measures to protect journalists against attacks.
The 2021 report highlights the fact that the Dutch government has done little to improve the accessibility of state-held information and that the massive collection of data by intelligence agencies “has repeatedly violated the privacy of journalists”. Additionally, a number of right-wing Dutch politicians have spoken out in 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, questioning the reliability and legitimacy of leading news outlets such as NOS, and physical attacks on journalists also increased last year.