After recovering to number 14 in 2021, Canada plummeted to number 19 in the 2022 ranking data compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
According to the international journalism NGO, countries are measured on:
- the degree of support and respect for media autonomy vis-à-vis political pressure from the state or from other political actors;
- the level of acceptance of a variety of journalistic approaches satisfying professional standards, including politically aligned approaches and independent approaches;
- the degree of support for the media in their role of holding politicians and government to account in the public interest.
The assessment noted the lack of corporate diversity in the Canadian media landscape:
More than 80 per cent of Canadian media is owned by just five corporations.
Reporters Without Borders also explained there is declining trust in the mainstream media:
Although the majority of Canadians still say that they have some trust in media institutions, overall trust in media has declined recently in Canada.
The ranking explanation also touched on the Convoy to Ottawa protests, how a CBC window was harmed and that some mainstream media journalists were shouted at:
While journalists are typically safe to do their jobs in Canada, reporters covering the 2022 Freedom Convoy to protest vaccine mandates received death threats, were spat on, and were verbally and physically harassed. The window of a CBC Radio Canada news cruiser was broken.
Reporters Without Borders, however, did not address the assaults against Rebel News journalists at the hands of Ottawa police that garnered international outrage.
For context, Canada's ranking in 2015, the last year that Conservative Stephen Harper occupied the Prime Minister's Office, was number eight.
By 2016, after one year of Prime Minister Trudeau, Canada's press freedom rank has plunged to number 18.