Lithuania has moved up two positions from the ninth to seventh place in this year’s World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday.
The media landscape in Lithuania is dominated by the public broadcaster LRT, as well as the TV3 and LNK groups, the organisation pointed out. However, some online media outlets are focusing on investigative journalism, attracting more attention from younger audiences.
Although relations between the government and journalists have been marked by tensions that increase with every new crisis, political attacks against journalists have recently been rare, RSF says. However, the media are relatively often confronted with refusals to provide public information without explanation.
Moreover, institutions of media regulation and oversight are “fairly free” from political influence except for the LRT board whose members are selected by the politicians, the report states.
As in previous years, Scandinavian countries top the ranking, with Norway in the first place, followed by Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands.
Estonia has dropped to eighth place from the fourth position in 2022. Latvia moved up from 22nd to 16th place. Journalists in Latvia are said to work in a relatively free and safe environment, the report states. However, access to reliable information is a serious problem, especially for the Russian-speaking population.
Meanwhile, Russia is ranked 164th, and Belarus is 157th. The worst media situation, according to RSF, remains in North Korea, which is at the bottom of the list, as well as in China (179), Vietnam (178), Iran (177), and Turkmenistan (176).
The Paris-based NGO ranked a total of 180 countries in its annual survey.