Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. The RSF Index evaluates the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories every year. The Netherlands, on the 4th place after Norway, Finland and Sweden, belongs to the 8% of the countries that are classified as ‘good’.
Because it is well known, its influence over governments is growing. Many heads of state and government fear its annual publication. The Index is a point of reference that is quoted by media throughout the world and is used by diplomats and international entities such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.
By tradition, press freedom is highly valued in the Netherlands. The government supports a free press inside and outside the country. Journalists are generally protected by a robust legal framework that extends to the confidentiality of sources. Most Dutch journalists are members of the Federation of Journalists (NVJ), an active union with a legal department and educational programs.
The ‘good’ and ‘fairly good’ countries count together for 24% of the 180 countries in the index.
Read more on the ranking and how it is measured here.
Source: Reporters Without Borders