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Finland drops again in Press Freedom Index rankings

Finland’s slide in the Press Freedom Index continues in 2018, with the country slipping to fourth spot. It led the ranking from 2010 to 2016.

Hensingin Sanomien artikkeli.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its annual Press Freedom Index on Thursday, placing Finland in fourth position. It’s the second year in a row that Finland has dropped down the Index.

The NGO said that source protection in Finland had been endangered by the scandal over and investigation into Helsingin Sanomat’s reporting around a military intelligence facility. Police confiscated a journalist’s equipment as part of that probe during a search of the reporter’s home.

Last year Finland had dropped from first to third position on RSF's index as a result of the scandal over Yle’s reporting of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s links to a family firm that won contracts from a state-owned mine.

Two journalists later resigned from Yle over that affair, citing what they deemed to be interference in their work.

Norway and Sweden are in first and second positions, with Holland in third. Denmark dropped to fifth after the death of Kim Wall on assignment in Copenhagen in August 2017.

North Korea is in last spot in the index.

RSF says in its press release it is concerned about the trend towards politicians in many parts of the world questioning the credibility of journalists and their reporting.

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