Over 84% of the World’s State Media Lack Independence

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More than 84% of the world’s state media are government-controlled, according to a newly released report from the Media and Journalism Research Center.

The government control over the state media remained extremely high in the past year, according to data gathered using the State Media Matrix, a research tool developed by the Media and Journalism Research Center. Some 84% of the 595 state-administered media entities in 157 countries covered by the study lack editorial independence, up from 80% last year.

During the past year, a total of nine media entities, in countries such as Armenia, Tunisia and Jordan, lost their editorial autonomy, being relegated to an inferior model in the Matrix. Equally concerning, the situation of state media worsened in already highly-controlled media environments in Eurasia, MENA region and Asia, a result of global geopolitical developments and events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Taliban takeover of political power in Afghanistan, and political instability in Yemen and Tunisia.

On the other hand, the situation has not improved in Europe, either, as state media in the region are faced with numerous threats as governments and political groups are stepping up efforts to gain more control of the media. Moreover, Europe is faced with a high incidence of cases of captured media outlets, 32 in total, more than a third of all such cases worldwide. A total of 21 of them are media outlets with private ownership, mostly oligarchic structures that have ties with state authorities and that follow an editorial line ostensibly supportive of the government.