The Netherlands drops to 28th place in global press freedom rankings

In a shocking turn, the Netherlands scored exceptionally badly in the yearly global press freedom ranking.

The lowlands ranked 28th in the world, dropping all the way from 6th place in 2021 by 22 spots.

Dropping a rank

In 2013, 2014, and 2016, the press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) ranked the Netherlands in second place, reports RTL Nieuws.

Since 2018, the country fell one place each year, ending up in 6th place in 2021. This year, they didn’t even make it to the top 20.

“This has never happened before,” says Free Press Unlimited, a Dutch NGO. The Netherlands never faced such a rapid decline in press freedom.

However, it doesn’t actually come as a surprise.

Physical attacks against journalists

The Netherlands has never ranked so low in press freedom, so why now?

Over the last year, several journalists were physically attacked. One camera crew in Utrecht was ambushed and robbed, while churchgoers attacked journalists in Urk and Krimpen aan den IJssel.

Something must be done

The director of Free Press Unlimited believes something must be done about the situation in the Netherlands.

“The Netherlands has always been a forerunner and champion of press freedom worldwide. To maintain this position, the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists must be high on the agenda.”

Reporters Sans Frontières showed that the state of press freedom around the world overall is declining.

What do you think of the press freedom situation in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments. 💭

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien is a Philippine native living in the Netherlands to finish her master's degree in political communication. You can usually find her trying to organize everything on Notion and the sticky notes app, otherwise, she’s nose-deep in a good book or obsessing over film soundtracks and video games.


  1. This situation is deplorable. I’ve always mentioned with pride to my American friends that press freedom is more free here in the Netherlands than in the US. The US still stands at #42. Something needs to be done in the Netherlands to protect the press. Unfortunately, the legitimate press is being attacked all over the world these days because of the rise of authoritarianism. Without a free and unencumbered press, democracy will suffer and the bad guys, like Putin and other ultra-right wing nationalists, will have won. We can’t let this happen. It’s time for the Dutch Parliament to impose heavy fines and/or jail time for anyone who impedes the work of the press. Don’t wait. Do it now!


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