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Armenia Ranking Lowered in Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Index

According to the Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Index for the first half of 2014, Georgia stays on top of the list, while Moldova came in second. Ukraine has switched places with Armenia, and now holds the third position. Azerbaijan and Belarus are at the bottom of the list.

The Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Index is compiled quarterly within the framework of the project EaP Media Freedom Watch, carried out by the international public organization Internews-Ukraine, in partnership with non-governmental organizations of the five Eastern Partnership countries.

The Media Freedom Index is calculated by summing up the points obtained by participant countries in four sections – Politics, Practice, Broadcasting and Internet and new media. About 60 media experts were interviewed in order to compile the data.

The total results for the participant countries are as follows.

The Politics section determines the level of rights and freedoms granted by the Constitution and laws of the country to the media and journalists, their compliance with international norms and standards, presence of censorship by official bodies, etc. The maximum score is 240 points. In this section Armenia gathered 170 points. Georgia was first with 207 and Azerbaijan 124 points.

The Practice section defines the role of the state in ensuring rights and freedoms of media and journalists, the reaction of authorities to cases of unlawful restrictions. This unit consists of six parts: actual attacks, threats, detention, prosecutions; access to information; censorship and self-censorship; state monopoly; economic conditions. The maximum score is 1110 points. Georgia led this section with 947 points, Armenia 603, and Azerbaijan 344.

The Broadcasting section specifies the level of freedom of broadcasting companies, access to the air time and other similar criteria. The maximum score is 150 points. Armenia gathered 65 points, Georgia 119, and Azerbaijan 41.

The Internet and new media section determines the level of freedom of the internet and access to it. The maximum score is 150 points. Georgia led the section with 136 points, Armenia 117, and Azerbaijan 51.

To recall, other annual media index lists like the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2014 have placed ranked Armenia at 78th place and Georgia at 84th. While Moldova is ranked 56th and Ukraine 127th. Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2014 findings ranked all Eastern Partnership countries, except Azerbaijan, as Partly Free. Azerbaijan has been ranked as Not Free.