RSF has published the report since 2002, ranking 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
After topping the index between 2010 and 2016, Finland dropped to third place in 2017 and further to fourth place in 2018, following two separate public scandals over interference in the work of journalists and source protection.
As the country bounced back to second place this year, RSF stated that “the scandals of 2016 and 2017 proved to be isolated incidents and have not been repeated since”.
The Nordic region as a whole did very well, with Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark all making the top five. Meanwhile, journalists in Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea enjoyed the least amount of freedom, according to the report.
Overall, the report cast a worrying light on the state of journalism globally as increased hostility towards journalists has degenerated into violence in many countries.