Freedom House: Ukraine saw an erosion of media freedom

May 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: Freedom of Speech, News, Ukraine

Freedom of the Press 2011 identifies the greatest threats to independent media in 196 countries and territories. Released on May 2 as part of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebration in Washington, D.C., the report shows that global media freedom has reached a new low point, contributing to an environment in which only one in every six people live in countries with a Free press.

Among the countries to experience significant declines in press freedom were Egypt, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, media in new and aspiring democracies proved vulnerable to a combination of hostile forces, including political leaders determined to mute critics, powerful business interests, drug traffickers, and armed insurgents or terrorists. Among the countries that experienced press freedom declines because of these forces were Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Fiji, Iraq, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen.

Ukraine, which has consistently been one of the best performers in its subregion in recent years, also saw an erosion of media freedom, falling from 53 to 56 points. After proRussian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych took office as president in February, broadcast frequencies were withdrawn from critical outlets and extralegal harassment of journalists increased, leading to greater self-censorship

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