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Kosovo advances 3 positions in World Press Freedom index - RSF

Kosovo advances 3 positions in World Press Freedom index - RSF Marina Mikhaylova/All rights reserved.

PRISTINA (Kosovo), April 18 (SeeNews) – Kosovo has climbed three places to 75th spot in the latest freedom of press ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders, the international non-governmental organisation said on Thursday.

“The media landscape nonetheless seems relatively pluralist – at first glance, at least – and many media outlets have owners with no direct political links, which results in more diverse editorial policies and opinions,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

According to RSF, the political situation in Kosovo became increasingly tense and unstable last year as a result of neighbouring Serbia’s rapprochement with the European Union, which left Kosovo’s government isolated diplomatically.

"The government’s lack of transparency on the issue of Europe elicited strong reactions from the Kosovar public and journalists," RSF noted. 

The NGO also said that certain media outlets that had been sidelined did not hesitate to criticise the nationalist policies of president Hashim Thaçi and his Democratic Party of Kosovo, while the government accused criticising journalists of being “traitors” or “Serbian sympathisers.”

“Kosovo’s ethnic divisions are the source of very disturbing problems for journalists who are members of the Serbian minority,” RSF noted, adding that this community’s media outlets are often the targets of verbal attacks, cyber-harassment and campaigns by pro-government media.

Published by RSF annually since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries using the following criteria – pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative environment, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses.