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Haiti ranks better than DR in Reuters’ press freedom index

Haiti has ranked better than the Dominican Republic in the recent Reporters without Borders Index published by Reuters. Haiti is ranked 53rd, and the Dominican Republic 59th in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The DR improved three positions after being ranked 62nd in 2016. The index says that self-censorship is widely practiced by the Dominican media.

In its observation on the Dominican Republic, the ranking states: “The concentration of media ownership in very few hands and a high level of impunity undermines freedom of information and encourage self-censorship in the Dominican Republic. Journalists who dare to tackle sensitive subjects such as corruption and drug trafficking are exposed to the possibility of threats and violent reprisals, or even murder by government officials or criminal cartel members. The repeal in 2016 of legislation under which journalists could be imprisoned for defamation was a major step forward for the media and democracy.”

Despite the better ranking, the Reuters observations on neighboring Haiti are also grim. Says Reporters without Borders: “Despite recent changes in Haiti’s media freedom laws, journalists suffer from a cruel lack of financial resources, an absence of institutional support, and difficulty in accessing information. Journalists continue to be the victims of intimidation or physical violence. A devastating earthquake in 2010 and, more recently, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 inflicted a great deal of damage on Haiti’s already limited infrastructure. The privately-owned media, which are heavily influenced by the interests of their shareholders, tend to censor themselves. Journalists will be exposed to heavy sanctions under a proposed defamation law that was approved by the senate in 2017.”

Source: DR1, haitilibre

Feb 25, 2018

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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