Report on press freedom around globe finds decline to lowest point in more than 10 years

WASHINGTON – Journalists in many parts of the world face deteriorating reporting conditions, with a watchdog group noting a sharp decline in global press freedom in 2014.

The group Freedom House says in its annual survey that global press freedom declined last year to its lowest point in more than 10 years. The group says only 1 in 7 people live in countries where coverage of political news is strong, journalists’ safety is guaranteed and state meddling in media affairs is minor.

Freedom House says the worst offenders last year were Belarus, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Syria. Ranked best: Norway, Sweden and Belgium. The U.S. ranked 34th on the list of 199 countries and territories assessed.