Italy improves 'freedom of press' ranking by nine slots
Bright spot in southern Europe, says Reporters Sans Frontiers12 February, 13:20
Italy improved by nine points compared to 2013, ending its "negative spiral" and returning among the countries with a "fairly good" situation, in 49th place among 180 in the rankings.
Italy placed just below Haiti, Niger and the United States (US). The US ranked 46th.
RSF said prosecutions in the name of national security had shaken freedom of press in the US under George W. Bush's two terms as president, but that Barack Obama has continued the onslaught, going after journalists' sources.
"No fewer that eight individuals have been charged under the Espionage Act since Obama became president," RSF said.
Finland topped the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway. Finland, the Netherlands and Norway have have led the index for years, RSF said.
At the bottom of the list were China, at 175th, followed by Somalia, Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea and in last place, Eritrea.