The annual report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Argentina 54th country in the world for press freedom, down from 47th last year.
The 2013 World Press Freedom Index, published on Wednesday, pointed out the drop was mainly caused by the growing tension between the government and the private media over the implementation of the media law.
“Polarisation is becoming a concern in Argentina, which slipped a few places to 54th amid growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media, above all the Clarín group, which is resisting full implementation of the 2009 Ley de Medios, a law regulating the broadcast media,” read the section on Argentina.
Argentina is ranked fourth in terms of Latin American countries, behind Costa Rica (18th), Uruguay (27th), and El Salvador (38th). Cuba is the worst ranked country in the region, ninth from the bottom at 171st.
The biggest change in the region came with Chile (60th) rising 20 places after the student protests in the country receded. Brazil (108th) on the other hand, fell a further nine ranks, after falling 41 ranks in 2011. Brazil’s media landscape is described as “badly distorted” and the report points out its problems were further exacerbated by violence in the October 2012 municipal elections.
The index ranked Finland, the Netherlands, and Norway, the top three countries in the world for press freedom. The bottom three were Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan.
The report bases its ranking on seven main criteria which include pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure. The seventh criterion is a score given to each country by RSF reflecting the level of violence towards journalists in a country.
The full report is available to download here.