Mongolia ranked 68th in World Press Freedom Index

2021-04-21 14:45:32

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia has been ranked 68th out of 180 countries in 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders.

The report told that the overall environment for the media has improved in Mongolia in recent years, especially as a result of the state media’s transformation from government mouthpieces into public services. But media ownership is very concentrated and most media are affiliated to political parties, which curtails the emergence of independent media. Whether state or privately-owned, the media are under pressure from politicians and their ability to act as watchdogs is limited by the government’s lack of transparency and susceptibility to criticism, and by still very imperfect media legislation.

Norway is ranked first in the Index for the fifth year running even though its media have complained of a lack of access to state-held information about the pandemic. Finland maintained its position in second place while Sweden (up 1 at 3rd) recovered its third place ranking, which it had yielded to Denmark (down 1 at 4th) last year.

This year’s Index, which evaluates the press freedom situation in 180 countries and territories annually, shows that journalism, which is arguably the best vaccine against the virus of disinformation, is totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries and constrained in 59 others, which together represent 73% of the countries evaluated. These countries are classified as having “very bad,” “bad” or “problematic” environments for press freedom.

The Index data reflect a dramatic deterioration in people's access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage. The coronavirus pandemic has been used as grounds to block journalists’ access to information sources and reporting in the field. The data shows that journalists are finding it increasingly hard to investigate and report sensitive stories, especially in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.