Kosovo marked a decrease of eight places in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index for 2021.
The country is ranked 78th while in 2020 it was 70th with a global score of 29.33 out of a possible 100 (with 100 being the worst and 0 being the best).
The report reads that the media in Kosovo “like almost everything else in the country”, remain divided along ethnic lines.
“Serbian journalists from Serbia were denied entry to Kosovo in early 2021 on the grounds that they gave the Kosovar authorities no prior warning,” the report reads.
It says that journalists in Kosovo and media are exposed to a hostile environment that includes physical and verbal attacks, cyber-attacks, pressure to censor themselves and a lack of transparency about media ownership.
“The financially fragile media are susceptible to political influence and, as a result of the pandemic’s impact, many newspapers had to stop producing a print edition,” it reads.
While it empathizes the arrest of the editor-in-chief of the KoSSev portal, Tatjana Lazarevic, for allegedly violating the curfew imposed by the authorities.
“The police used a Covid-19 curfew as a pretext to detain KoSSev website editor Tatjana Lazarevic,” says the report.
While it also mentions the fact that the fate of many journalists who disappeared, especially those who went missing or were abducted during the 1999 conflict, is still unknown.
Kosovo still performed better than Albania which ranked at number 83.