20 OCT 2010
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - More than half of the EU's 27 countries score badly in the annual press freedom index carried out by the Paris-based NGO Reporters without Borders - a negative trend compared to previous years, even though three EU members are the freest places in the world in which to be a journalist.
"It is disturbing to see several European Union member countries continuing to fall in the index. If it does not pull itself together, the EU risks losing its position as world leader in respect for human rights," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Francois Julliard said in a statement accompanying the study on Wednesday (20 October).
Thirteen of the EU's 27 members are in the world top 20. But some of the other 14 stand very low while the gap between good and bad performers continues to widen, the report says.
The poor performers include France and Italy, where events in the past year – violation of the protection of journalists' sources, concentration of media ownership, displays of contempt by government officials and judicial summonses - continue to follow a negative line.
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