Just The Facts

Media Terror: Press Freedom in Turkey and Russia

Media freedom in important G-20 economies — Turkey, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Mexico — leaves much to be desired.

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Takeaways


  • Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 on press freedom as of 2016.
  • Turkey’s government seizes control of newspapers that it accuses of “terrorist” support.
  • Mexico is the most dangerous country in the Western hemisphere for journalists.
  • Since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, the repression of the media has been stepped up.

1. Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 on press freedom as of 2016, according to the Reporters Without Borders’ annual Press Freedom Index.

2. That makes it the third-worst performer among the G-20 nations, after China and Saudi Arabia (165th).

3. As recently as 2006, Turkey ranked in the top 100 nations in terms of press freedom.

4. Turkey’s ranking has fallen in recent years because of increasing political pressure on journalists and the return of war at home and abroad.

5. The government also vigorously prosecutes alleged “insults” against top officials and seizes control of newspapers that it accuses of “terrorist” support.

6. Mexico ranks the next-worst (149th) in the G-20 after Turkey – and is the most dangerous country in the Western hemisphere for journalists.

7. Mexican drug gangs have used brutal tactics to intimidate the journalists reporting on their activities. Scores of journalists have been openly murdered.

8. Mexico in 2016 ranks next to Russia (148th), which makes the latter the fifth-worst performer among the G-20 nations.

9. Since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, the repression and consolidation of the media in Russia have been stepped up.

10. Russia also stands out because of its systematic failure to punish, or even pursue, those who have attacked or murdered journalists.

Sources: Reporters Without Borders, The Globalist Research Center

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