RSF Index 2019: UK rises in ranking, but press freedom climate remains worrying

first_imgNews United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment April 18, 2019 RSF Index 2019: UK rises in ranking, but press freedom climate remains worrying Organisation News RSF_en UK NGOs concerned over press freedom implications of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill RSF welcomed some positive steps in the UK in 2018, including the statement in March by then-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock that Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 – which contains a threatening cost-shifting provision – would not be implemented. The Magnitsky amendment adopted in May as part of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act could also serve as a powerful tool in holding press freedom predators to account.“Although there have been improvements in some areas, unfortunately part of the reason for the rise in the UK’s ranking is that the press freedom climate deteriorated so sharply in other countries. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard, and seek to be one of the best, not worst-performing countries in Western Europe. Too often steps taken in the name of national security trample press freedom, and too often legislation is adopted without adequate protection for journalists. Press freedom must be respected at the very core of domestic law, policies and practices, in line with the UK’s international human rights obligations”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.RSF has called for a number of specific measures to improve the UK’s press freedom ranking, including formally repealing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, ceasing efforts to force a backdoor into encryption tools, implementing the Magnitsky Amendment without further delay, and lifting the ongoing threat of legal action against journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in Northern Ireland, who remain under police bail. RSF also calls for a more consistent approach to press freedom across all governmental bodies, including the Home Office, and for parliament to take a more proactive approach in ensuring that new draft legislation does not further erode press freedom.“We are encouraged by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s new media freedom campaign, as the UK plays an important standard-setting role internationally. We hope this commitment to championing these important issues abroad will in turn result in greater vigilance to our own press freedom climate, and lead to improvements in our areas of shortcoming here in the UK”, said Vincent.UK press contact: Rebecca Vincent on [email protected] or +44 (0)7583 137751 September 17, 2018 Find out more United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment Follow the news on United Kingdom Receive email alerts to go further New UK Counter-Terrorism legislation contains some journalistic protections, but threatens press freedom RSF welcomes European Court judgment finding the UK’s mass surveillance regime threatening to the protection of journalistic sources The UK has risen seven places in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2019 World Press Freedom Index, published today. Now ranked 33rd out of 180 countries, the UK has improved from its 2018 ranking of 40th, placing it between France and Slovenia in the 2019 Index. However, the UK remained one of the worst-performing countries in Western Europe, and a number of worrying trends continued, particularly in relation to national security, surveillance, and data protection. News January 30, 2019 Find out more February 5, 2019 Find out more News Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Discounters soar in stagnant supermarket sector

Discount giants Aldi and Lidl have recorded double-digit growth against relatively static supermarket growth of 0.9%, according to the latest statistics.Meanwhile, although none of the big four changed places in terms of sales ranking, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons all posted sales shrinkage.According to Kantar Worldpanel figures comparing the 12 weeks to 14 September 2014 and to 13 September 2015, Lidl’s sales grew by 16% from £892m to £1.03bn, while Aldi’s sales grew by 17.3%, from £1.18bn to £1.38bn.This allowed Aldi to overtake Waitrose to become the sixth-largest supermarket with a 5.6% market share, despite Waitrose posting reasonable sales growth of 2.9%.Iceland was the only other major supermarket to post significant growth at 3.4%, although The Co-operative also showed modest growth of 1%Trouble at the topOf the big four supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) only Sainsbury’s managed to achieve even flat sales to hold a steady at 16.2% market share.Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Sainsbury’s has grown sales by 0.9% compared with a year ago, attracting 250,000 new shoppers through the door in the last 12 weeks.”Tesco’s decrease was modest at -1% but Asda’s sales shrank by -2.9% and those of Morrisons by -1.4%. Morrisons’ figures are also likely to decrease further as their recently announced store closures take effect.Sales growth has been made harder for supermarkets by negative grocery inflation, which stood at -1.7% for the 12 weeks ending 13 September 2015.This fall partly reflects the low prices of Aldi and Lidl and the other supermarkets’ attempts to compete with them. However, the figure also represents a general deflation in major categories such as eggs, bread, butter and crisps.Trade may grow even harder in the future as online grocery shopping increases in popularity.McKevitt said: “Almost 7% of grocery sales are currently purchased through the internet and existing online supermarkets will be watching closely to see when Amazon Fresh will launch in the UK and whether it will steal market share or grow the online market even further.”Supermarkets | Create infographics read more