Reporters Without Borders on May 3, released the 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, and Nigeria is sitting dangerously at number 129 out of 180 countries.
Reporters Without Borders has described the giant of Africa in their report as “one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, who are often watched, attacked, arbitrarily arrested and even killed.
“It can involve pressure, harassment of journalists and media outlets, and even censorship,” the report stated.
In 2021, Nigeria ranked at 120 on the World Press Freedom Index, a drop of five spots from its ranking in 2020, and this year, it has sunk deeper.
This is proof that the country is getting worse by the day, as they make continued efforts to silence the voices of the press and by extension, the masses.
The threat to media freedom in Nigeria is real, as the government keeps disregarding the fundamental human rights of individuals to speak freely.
Commenting on the development, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in a joint press statement, posited:
“We need to remind governments at all levels in Nigeria that a free and independent media that can keep the people informed and hold leaders accountable, is essential for a strong and sustainable democracy, including free and fair elections.
“Without it, Nigerians cannot make informed decisions about how they are governed; and address human rights abuses, corruption and abuse of power,” the editors said.
Meanwhile, Ghana ranked 60 on the list; the worst since 2005 when they ranked 66th. There are reports that the Ghanaian press has been under a lot of pressure, which has led journalists to cower for their safety.
According to the Reporters Without Borders, the 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, was assessed based on the accompanying chaos and negative reactions that the press has to deal with in various countries, upon the divulgence of information.
Worst countries for press freedom included Myanmar (176), Turkmenistan (177), Iran (178), Eritrea (179), and North Korea (180).
For the top best, Norway ranked number 1, followed by Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, and Finland. The United Kingdom made it to spot 24, Australia at 39 and the USA at 42.