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Brazil drops four positions in press freedom ranking and stays in red zone

By João Marcelo

SAO PAULO – Brazil fell 4 positions in the World Ranking of Press Freedom, published annually by the NGO reporters without borders. The country appears in 111th place in the 2021 edition of the list, released this Tuesday, the 20th.

The entity separates the situation of each into five colors related to the level of press freedom, which are white, very good; yellow, good; orange, problematic; red, hard and black, very serious.

For the first time in 20 years, the country left the orange zone and entered the red zone of the survey, in which the situation for the work of the press is considered more difficult. The report analyzes that one of the reasons for limiting press freedom in Brazil is a “scenario of excessive concentration of media ownership, which undermines the quality of pluralism and the diversity of the media horizon”.

The ranking presentation text describes the environment for journalists’ work as toxic since President Jair Bolsonaro came to power in 2019. In that year, the country had already dropped two positions in the ranking. “Insults, stigmatization and orchestration of public humiliations to journalists have become the trademark of the president, his family and his entourage,” the text states.

For the organization, the attacks became more intense with the coronavirus pandemic and claimed that the president disseminates false information and accuses the press of being responsible for the “chaos in the country“.

According to the NGO, the exercise of journalism is partially or totally limited in more than 130 countries, at a time when the health crisis adds obstacles to the coverage of the news.

The countries in which there is more freedom of the press, according to the survey, are from Scandinavia. Norway appears in 1st place, position it occupies since 2017. Finland is in 2nd, followed by Sweden and Denmark. The worst ranked countries are Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, China and Djibouti.

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