‘Drastic decline’ in media freedom worldwide

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RSF's ranking put North Korea among the countries with the very worst levels of press freedom out of the 180 evaluatedMedia freedom suffered a “drastic decline” worldwide last year in part because of extremist groups such as Islamic State and Boko Haram, the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders said in its annual evaluation released Thursday. “There has been an overall deterioration linked to very different factors, with information wars, and action by non-state groups acting like news despots,” the head of the Paris-based group, Christophe Deloire, told AFP. The Reporters Without Borders 2015 World Press Freedom Index stated that there were 3,719 violations of freedom of information in 180 countries in 2014 — eight percent more than a year earlier. All parties in conflicts raging in the Middle East and Ukraine were waging “a fearsome information war” where media personnel were directly targeted to be killed, captured or pressured to relay propaganda, it said.