Nigeria has moved up in the global press freedom index ranking 115 among 179 countries rated by Reporters Without Borders. Nigeria ranked 126 on the 2012 press freedom index. The index, released on January 30, 2013 indicated that despite this gain, Nigeria still lag behind so many African countries taking the 30th position within the continent. Countries such as Namibia, Cape Verde and Ghana, topped the chart in the first three positions in Africa and standing ahead on the index before the United States of America.
The new indicator measures global press freedom by aggregating the scores of its annual index. This new analytic tool measures the overall level of freedom of information in the world and the performance of the world’s governments in their entirety as regards this key freedom. “In view of the emergence of new technologies and the interdependence of governments and peoples, the freedom to produce and circulate news and information needs to be evaluated at the planetary as well as national level,” the group said.
“The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term,” they added.
The year 2012 is noted as the deadliest year ever for journalist based on the high number of journalists killed in the course of carrying out their work. This naturally affected the rankings of countries where these murders took place. Amongst the biggest losers were Somalia which went down 11 positions to occupy the 175th place, Syria retained its 176th position while Pakistan went down 8 positions to place 159th and Eritrea at the last position of 179.