The 2017 World Press Freedom Index has ranked Guyana at No. 60 three places down from the previous year with the compilers of the Index classifying Guyana as a country with “noticeable problem”.
According to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) compiled index, “Although Guyana’s constitution guarantees free speech and the right to information, officials often use its defamation laws, which provide for fines and up to two years in jail, to silence opposition journalists. The members of the media regulatory authority are appointed directly by the president. This restricts the freedom of certain media outlets, which are denied licences. Journalists are subjected to harassment that takes the form of prosecutions, suspensions and intimidation.”
RSF, in its analysis explained that the Index “reflects a world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise” adding that “we have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms – especially in democracies.”
The World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries, including the level of pluralism, media independence, and respect for the safety and freedom of journalists. The 2017 Index takes account of violations that took place between January 1st and December 31stof 2016.
For the full RSF analysis and report go to https://rsf.org/en/2017-world-press-freedom-index-tipping-point