MANILA—Only 9 percent of the world — or 43 countries — have press freedom, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday, World Press Freedom Day.
The figure represents countries that RSF rated as "good" (white) or "satisfactory" (yellow) in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
The remaining 91 percent were rated "problematic" (orange), "very serious" (red), and "difficult" (black)
Sixty-six countries were rated problematic, while 52 were very serious, and 18 were considered difficult.
Norway led the countries that enjoy free press, while Turkmenistan was rated as most "difficult."
This year, the Philippines dropped by one spot in the index, ranking 134th out of 180 countries.
RSF said the indicator has deteriorated by 11 percent in the past 5 years.
"None of humankind’s big problems — whether global warming, corruption or gender inequality — can be solved without information that is freely and independently reported and reliable, in other words, without quality journalism,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“This situation is very worrying for journalists and above all for all those human beings who are being deprived of their right to information.”
RSF earlier said political leaders' hostility towards the media "has incited increasingly frequent acts of violence that have fueled an unprecedented level of fear and danger for journalists."