Does the Press Freedom Index give us a complete story about freedom of the press?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Freedom of expression is a human right. To express oneself without fear of being persecuted, killed, harassed and/or jailed, is a fundamental right. While the 2019 Press Freedom Index ranks countries according to how journalists can conduct their work safely, the index isn’t comprehensive, even misleading. 

Should there be an index for what the media allows minorities and migrants to write and challenge the national narrative about such groups? Stories about migrants like asylum seekers are commonly one-sided and only give an incomplete picture of their lives.

The media is interested in writing about drowned asylum seekers in the Mediterranean but less so about their rights and exploitation on land.

If there were an index that would measure how much the national media permits minorities and migrants to write about their narrative on their own terms, I would bet that the Press Freedom Index list would be very different.

In Finland, the country where I live, ranks second on the 2019 Press Freedom Index list. Even so, can minorities and migrants write freely about racism and discrimination in society? Why do large dailies like Helsingin Sanomat treat such stories with less interest if it does not fit their news narrative?

Moreover, why are there so few minorities employed as full-time reporters and why aren’t there any working as editors?

I know for a fact that if I were to write about migrants and minorities for the Finnish media like I do in Migrant Tales, there would be a good chance that my writing would be rejected.

Disregarding Other voices in society is a serious matter and should be addressed in the Reporters Without Borders index.

Go here if you want to read about how biased in 2015 the Finnish media was when writing about migrants.

Go to website here.