KUWAIT CITY, April 20, (Agencies): Kuwait ranked first in the GCC and 103rd internationally in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index released Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders — an advocacy group based in Paris. A total of 180 countries were ranked based on the following indicators: pluralism, media independence, environment and selfcensorship, legislative framework, transparency, infrastructure and abuses. These countries obtained scores ranging from 0 to 100, with 0 being the best possible score and 100 the worst.
With a global score of 32.59 in the 2016 index, Kuwait’s international ranking dropped 13 places compared to last year when it landed on the 90th position and obtained a global score of 30.84.
On the rankings of other GCC countries, Qatar came in second in the region and 117th internationally with a global score of 35.97, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is third in the region and 119th internationally with a score of 36.73, Oman is fourth regionally and 125th internationally with a score of 40.43, Bahrain is fifth in the region and 162nd in the world with a score of 54.86, while Saudi Arabia is last in the region and 165th in the world with a score of 59.72.
World press freedom deteriorated in 2015, especially in the Americas, advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday as it released its annual rankings, warning of “a new era of propaganda”.
This year’s report warned of a climate of fear that has seen world leaders “developing a form of paranoia about legitimate journalism.” Christophe Deloire, secretary general of the Paris-based group told AFP there had been a decline in all parts of the world, with Latin America of particular concern. “All of the indicators show a deterioration. Numerous authorities are trying to regain control of their countries, fearing overly open public debate,” he said. “Today, it is increasingly easy for powers to appeal directly to the public through new technologies, and so there is a greater degree of violence against those who represent independent information,” he added.
The situation was particularly grave in Latin America, the report said, highlighting “institutional violence” in Venezuela and Ecuador, organised crime in Honduras, impunity in Colombia, corruption in Brazil and media concentration in Argentina as the main obstacles to press freedom.