The results of the newest survey from Reporters Without Borders shows Iceland in the ninth position for freedom of the press – down from the number one position in the previous year. In the top three position were Denmark, Finland and Ireland, respectively.
Overall, the report does not paint a pretty picture of Europe. “Europe long set an example in press freedom but several European nations have fallen significantly in this year’s index,” says the report in part. “Even if the first 13 places are still held by European countries, others such as France (43rd), Slovakia (44th) and Italy (49th) continue their descent, falling eight, 37 and five places respectively. In so doing, they have given way to young democracies in Africa (Mali, South Africa and Ghana) and the western hemisphere (Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago).”
Iceland had been in the top three in the world for press freedom from at least 2002 until last year. The United States ranks below Costa Rica, at 17th place, and the UK is tied for 21st place with Benin. Perhaps unsurprising, North Korea ranks last in the world.
The report gave no details as to why Iceland fell so far in terms of freedom of the press, but the Grapevine has a couple ideas.