In contrast, Trump has weakened the United States media's right to report, the group said, amid incidents including the president's refusal to condemn the Saudi government for allegedly ordering the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi; a number of bomb threats that targeted media outlets previous year, apparently from a Trump supporter; and the physical assault of a BBC cameraman at a Trump rally where the president had slammed the media as "dishonest".
These murders highlighted the many dangers that Indian journalists face, especially those working for non-English-language media outlets in rural areas, it said. "The lack of government transparency on relations with Europe prompted strong public and journalistic feedback".
Especially in Europe and the US the freedom of the press has decreased.
The Middle East and North Africa region continues to be the most risky for journalists. "Journalists are being attacked with complete impunity and the authorities have made no serious attempt to find Azory Gwanda, a journalist who went missing in November 2017", read the report. It fell one place on the list and now finds itself on 63rd place.
"The media have gradually been turned into political propaganda tools".
This low ranking puts the United States in the "problematic" category, alongside Botswana and Romania. They include Venezuela (down five at 148th), where journalists have reportedly been the victims of arrests and violence by security forces, and Russian Federation (down one at 149th), where the Kremlin has reportedly used arrests, arbitrary searches and draconian laws to step up pressure on independent media and the Internet.
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The report cited the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland last June, in which a gunman shot and killed five people in a targeted attack on the newspaper.
"A supreme court decision finally brought an end to Sirisena's political maneuver, one clearly prejudicial to journalism, but this episode served as a stark reminder of Sri Lankan press freedom's vulnerability to political vicissitudes", the press freedom organization commented.
It found only eight percent of them have a media climate considered "good" for journalists.
In reference to a particular tweet by Trump which states that it is "disgusting" that the press can write whatever they want, former White House Correspondent Bill Plante noted that the U.S.is in a very "dangerous place" now.
But it is not all bad news. The section on Thailand did not explain what accounted for the country's four-point increase on the index, which reflected a relative improvement in the climate for press freedom.