Reporters Without Borders Index is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country. It has been published every year since 2002. Rankings for previous years can be downloaded for the section Archives .

Six dimensions are considered in the formulation of the assessment, each indicator is given a score between 0 and 100:

1 – Pluralism, the degree to which opinions are represented in the media.

2 – Media independence, the degree to which the media are able to function independently of sources of political, governmental, business and religious power and influence.

– Environment and self-censorship, analyses the environment in which news and information providers operate.

4 – Legislative framework measures the impact of the legislative framework governing news and information activities.

5 – Transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information.

6 – Infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

7 – Abuses measures the level of abuses and violence.

Added value

Along with the Index referring to the situation in each country, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators. The global indicator is the average of the regional indicators, each of which is obtained by averaging the scores of all the countries in the region, weighted according to their population as given by the World Bank.


The degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated. The criteria used in the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

The Index is based on questionnaire with 87 questions, targeted at the media professionals, lawyers and sociologists who are asked to complete it. Scores are calculated on the basis of the responses of the experts selected by RSF combined with the data on abuses and violence against journalists during the period evaluated. Detailed information on how the score is calculated are available here .

Data referring to the monitoring carried out in 2017 can be downloaded here .

Tags: Media pluralism Legal protection Transparency
Publication Date: 01/02/2018
Source: Reporters Without Borders
Dataset format: csv
Accessibility: free