Jamaica drops to 17th place in World Press Freedom ranking
Jamaica has fallen four places to 17th in the 2014 World Press Freedom ranking released last night.
The annual World Press Freedom index is global indicator of the overall level of violations of freedom of information.
This year, 180 countries were assessed.
Jamaica's 17th place ranking is the worst the country has received in the past three years.
In 2013, Jamaica was ranked 13th, three places better that the 16th place ranking it attained in 2012.
The year 2013 was marked by a controversial incident involving Milton Samuda, the attorney for athletes Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson after their positive drug tests.
Samuda had requested the tapes of two journalists following an interview with his clients because the reporters had asked questions that were not previously approved.
Last year, there was also concern that despite repeated requests the Prime Minister never granted any extended media interviews.
According to the 2014 Press Freedom Index, Jamaica aside, there were other major declines in the Americas for 2014.
The United States, for example, fell 13 places to 46th.
Guatemala's margin of decline was even worse, going down 29 places to 125th following an increase in the number of physical attacks on journalists, including four murders.
However, there have been marked improvements in Ecuador, Bolivia, and South Africa.
Last year, 75 journalists were killed in the line of their duties.
Top 10 countries
10. New Zealand
Bottom 10 countries
171. Lao People’s Democratic Republic
173. Islamic Republic of Iran
177. Syrian Arab Republic
179. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
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