Watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual evaluation released February 12 that media freedom suffered a "drastic decline" worldwide last year in part because of extremist groups such as Islamic State and Boko Haram.
The Reporters Without Borders 2015 World Press Freedom Index stated that there were 3,719 violations of freedom of information in 180 countries in 2014 -- eight percent more than a year earlier.
RSF's ranking put Iran, China, Syria and North Korea among the countries with the very worst levels of press freedom out of the 180 evaluated.
Repression of journalists in Ukraine during its early-2014 uprising against its pro-Kremlin president, and in Turkey during antigovernment demonstrations, earned both countries spots in the bottom quarter of the table.
The report says that all parties in conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine were waging "a fearsome information war" where journalists were directly targeted to be killed, captured or pressured to relay propaganda.
Based on reporting by AFP