Iceland Drops in World Press Freedom Rankings Skip to content

Iceland Drops in World Press Freedom Rankings

Iceland is ranked 14th in Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Kjarninn reports that this ranking is notably lower than the country’s Nordic neighbours and that Iceland has fallen four places in the rankings in the last two years.

Norway takes first place in this year’s rankings, followed by Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The top ten rankings are rounded out by Switzerland (6), New Zealand (7), Jamaica (8), Belgium (9), and Costa Rica (10).

The worst scoring countries in this year’s rankings were Vietnam (176), China (177), Eritrea (178), North Korea (179), and Turkmenistan (180).

“This small island nation ambitiously aspires to become the El Dorado of investigative journalism and online media,” reads Iceland’s single paragraph ranking explanation. But in spite of resolutions such as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which is aimed, among other things, at protecting journalistic sources, increasing transparency, and solidifying media independence, Iceland has continued to slowly slip in the rankings.

“Though the constitution guarantees ‘absolute’ freedom of expression,” concludes the report, “the situation of journalists has worsened since 2012 because relations between politicians and media have soured.”

See the full rankings here.

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