Rank Reduction

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2018 World Press Freedom Index

This morning.

The 2018 World Press Freedom Index has been announced.

Ireland has dropped from its ranking of 14th last year to 16th this year.

Reporters without Borders – which is behind the index – explains:

The highly concentrated nature of media ownership in Ireland continues to pose a major threat to press freedom, and contributed to Ireland’s two-place fall in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

Independent News and Media (INM) controls much of the daily and Sunday newspaper market, while broadcasting is dominated by the semi-state company RTE.

The 1937 constitution guarantees media freedom, but defamation suits are common.

The high damages awarded by Irish courts in defamation cases have prompted calls for a review of Ireland’s defamation legislation.

The general scheme of the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill, published in October 2017, has been criticized for failing to provide specific protections for journalists.

In November 2017, the Standards in Public Office Commission tried to force a journalist to provide confidential information related to his investigations into alleged planning irregularities.

Interviewing police sources has been virtually impossible since the Garda Siochana Act of 2005, which bans police officers from talking to journalists without prior authorisation. Officers contravening the ban risk dismissal, a fine, or up to seven years in prison.

2018 World Press Freedom Index

H/T: Tom Lyons

8 thoughts on “Rank Reduction

  1. Fact Checker

    This is a bit silly.

    RTÉ indeed dominates the radio market. There are lots of other options but (whisper it) in many cases the RTÉ product is a lot better.

    INM dominates part of the print market indeed. But this market is shrinking fast.

    You can hear a LOT more diversity of opinion on issues of the day in Ireland than twenty years ago. This is due to the growth of social and non-paper media. Anyone literate can reach an audience on a topic of their choice without the intermediation of a bunch of people printing paper every day.

    Pious reports like this miss this point substantially.

    1. Cian

      Fact Checker, what you say is true – but doesn’t that apply to all countries (almost) equally?
      So dropping two places is relevant.

      1. Fact Checker

        I have some knowledge of synthetic indices.

        This index is the sum of a set of CRITERION*WEIGHT.
        The movement in CRITERION from year to year is based on a subjective assessment. WEIGHT is also set on a subjective basis.
        Small movements from year to year are probably not much different from noise because there is so much judgement involved.

        Sustained movements over several years are probably telling you something.

  2. Ben Redmond

    One question about newspapers in liberal democracies might usefully be asked.
    How editorially diverse is the national press?

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