Reporters sans frontières have produced their 2019 index of press freedom:
The RSF Index, which evaluates the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories every year, shows that an intense climate of fear has been triggered — one that is prejudicial to a safe reporting environment. The hostility towards journalists expressed by political leaders in many countries has incited increasingly serious and frequent acts of violence that have fuelled an unprecedented level of fear and danger for journalists.
Along with their evaluations, they produce rankings for the 180 countries. Those two numbers provide a quick understanding of where your, or another’s, country lies on the spectrum of press freedom.
For a visual understanding, RSF produce a colour-coded world map. The range is from white to black – better to worse – with yellows, oranges and red between.
Japan ranks at number 67. This is better than many other Asian nations, but this remains worrying, to say the very least:
Journalists have been complaining of a climate of mistrust toward them ever since Shinzo Abe became prime minister again in 2012. The system of “kisha clubs” (reporters’ clubs) continues to discriminate against freelancers and foreign reporters.