Canada in Top 20 of 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Canada is back in the top 20 when it comes to freedom of the press, but officials warn there is still work to be done.

Reporters Without Borders has released their 2019 World Press Freedom Index; Canada comes in at number 18 out of 180 countries.

Officials with the organization note the Prime Minister has advocated for a 'free media' but also points to several concerning incidents within our borders, including a VICE News reporter who is fighting a court order to reveal his sources to the RCMP and the closure of more than 40 independent newspapers following a deal between two of the country's largest publishers.

Meanwhile, the US slipped to number 48 with Reporters Without Borders noting President Donald Trump's assertion that the media is an 'enemy of the people', attempts to block journalists' access to the White House, and the frequent use of the term 'fake news' when reacting to critical reporting.

In a report, officials state, "Reporters have even been subject to physical assault while on the job. It appears the Trump effect has only amplified the disappointing press freedom climate that predated his presidency. Whistleblowers face prosecution under the Espionage Act if they leak information of public interest to the press, while there is still no federal “shield law” guaranteeing reporters’ right to protect their sources. Journalists and their devices continue to be searched at the US border, while some foreign journalists are still denied entry into the US after covering sensitive topics like Colombia’s FARC or Kurdistan."