Wars and crises have worsened the situation for journalists around the world.

This is the conclusion of the new press freedom ranking by the organization Reporters Without Borders (ROG).

The development is also noticeable in Germany.

The number of violent attacks on media workers rose from 65 in the previous year to 80 – and thus to a new high.

In Russia, the organization notes, freedom of the press has been de facto abolished.

Reporters Without Borders in Berlin said that never before since the beginning of the documentary in 2013 have more confirmed physical attacks on journalists been registered.

Most of the incidents in Germany occurred during protests by the lateral thinker scene against the corona protection measures.

They accounted for 52 of the 80 attacks on journalists.

Twelve police officers attacked the press.

There is also a high number of unreported cases and a “large number of cases that are not individually recorded”.

Journalists were insulted, harassed and prevented from doing their work.

Such incidents have happened not only at meetings, but also in courtrooms or football stadiums.

Even at home, those affected would be visited.

A year earlier, Germany had already slipped from “good” to “satisfactory” in the ROG rating.

The European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) recently published its own balance sheet, according to which there were 83 violent attacks on media workers last year.

Germany in 16th place

In the international ranking of press freedom, Germany fell slightly compared to the previous year, dropping three places to 16th out of 180 places.

The lack of protection for media representatives and their sources as part of the federal government's new cyber security strategy and other measures such as the use of so-called state trojans also play a role, Reporters Without Borders explained.

An increasing concentration of publishers in daily newspapers is also a cause for concern.

The situation of press freedom has deteriorated worldwide since the beginning of last year due to crises and wars.

These not only posed an acute danger to the life and limb of reporters, but were also accompanied by "various repressions" with which governments wanted to gain "information sovereignty" for themselves.

In Russia, for example, freedom of the press was “de facto abolished” when the attack on Ukraine began.

In the current ranking, Russia is in 155th place.

Independent journalism is also “barely possible” in Myanmar (176th place) after the military coup and in Afghanistan (156th place) after the Taliban took power.

Seven journalists killed in Ukraine war

Reporters Without Borders said seven journalists had already been killed in hostilities within a few weeks in Ukraine, which had been attacked by Russia.

In the current year, the country is in a sad top position together with Mexico, where just as many media representatives died.

The Central American country has been one of the deadliest for journalists in years.

The current series of murders is "shocking" even by Mexican standards, the organization continued.

Even before the invasion began on February 24, the Kremlin had massively increased the pressure on independent media workers: more than a hundred journalists and entire editorial offices were declared so-called "foreign agents" in 2021, many of which stopped their work as a result.

At the end of February 2022, the Russian media regulator banned words such as "war", "attack" and "invasion" in reporting on Ukraine, and a little later a new law threatened prison sentences of up to 15 years for alleged false information about the Russian army.

Russian army attacks purposefully

The situation in Ukraine, which was listed at number 106, has also deteriorated significantly since the Russian attack.

"Russian troops targeted media teams and bombed television towers in several cities," ROG said.

The Kremlin is also forcing its narrative about the war on some of its neighboring countries - notably Belarus - the analysis goes on to say.

In the country, which ranks 153rd for press freedom, dictator Alexander Lukashenko continues to persecute independent journalists with great severity.

More and more Belarusian media are classified as extremist.

Anyone who shares content from these media or even just reads it could be prosecuted.

A total of 12 more countries are listed in the worst category "very serious situation" this year - and with a total of 28 more than ever before.

At the end of 2021, ROG also had more imprisoned journalists than ever before.

At the bottom of the rankings were China, Myanmar and Iran, as well as Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea (180th place).

As before, the Scandinavian countries are largely responsible for the top rankings: Norway takes first place for the sixth time in a row. Denmark and Sweden follow.

Still, looking at the back ranks is more important for the human rights organization on commemoration day: "Killings and kidnappings, arrests and physical attacks are just different manifestations of the same problem: governments, interest groups and individuals want to use violence to prevent media workers from reporting independently," said ROG -CEO Michael Rediske.

The phenomenon can be observed in all parts of the world, whether in Russia, Myanmar or Afghanistan - or "even in Germany, where aggressiveness towards journalists has risen to a record high".

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