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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Hong Kong ranks 140th in world press freedom rankings, trailing behind Singapore, Rwanda

Hong Kong ranks 140th in world press freedom rankings, trailing behind Singapore, Rwanda

Hong Kong ranked 140th among the 180 regions in a world press freedom ranking, trailing behind places like Singapore, Rwanda, Colombia, and Cameroon, according to a global media watchdog.
The rankings, released on Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders on World Press Freedom Day, saw the situation in Hong Kong, along with 41 other regions, labeled as “difficult” in terms of the environment for journalism.

The regions included Mexico, Singapore, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, and Cambodia.

The watchdog commented that Hong Kong once had a vibrant media environment but had seen an unprecedented setback since 2020 when Beijing adopted a National Security Law aimed at silencing independent voices.

It also criticized that public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong, previously renowned for its fearless investigations, has been placed under pro-government management that does not hesitate to censor the programs it dislikes.

Meanwhile, the watchdog said Asian countries occupy the last three places of the ranking, with Vietnam (178th) almost completed its hunt for independent reporters and commentators, followed by China (down 4 at 179th), the world’s biggest jailer of journalists and one of the biggest exporters of propaganda content. North Korea came last on the ranking.

The watchdog also said the 2023 Index spotlights the rapid effects of the digital ecosystem’s fake content industry on press freedom, including the emergence of artificial intelligence that is wreaking havoc on the media world, undermining those who embody quality journalism and weakening journalism itself.

It also mentioned that the fifth version of Midjourney, an AI program that generates very high-definition images in response to natural language requests, “has been feeding social media with increasingly plausible and undetectable fake ‘photos,’ including quite realistic-looking ones of Donald Trump being stopped by police officers and a comatose Julian Assange in a straitjacket, which went viral.”
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