While Nigeria dropped in the rankings, Ethiopia, under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, had the biggest increase leaping 40 places to 110 after all of its detained journalists were freed.
RSF states that the situation with media freedom is "good" or "quite good" in only 24% of the 180 countries which have been observed, whereas a year ago that number was 26%. The report cited Trump's repeated declarations of the news media as an "enemy of the American people", attempts to deny White House access to "multiple media outlets", regular use of the term "fake news" in retaliation to critical reporting, and calls to revoke the broadcasting licenses of "certain media outlets".
The report points out that campaigns are particularly virulent when the targets are women.
"Never before have U.S. journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection", it added.
"Hatred of the media is now such that a gunman walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, in June and killed four journalists and one other staff member".
The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul also "sent a chilling message to journalists well beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia", down three to 172, the report said.
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We are working with the company to determine whether there are any other vehicles whose locations can not be accounted for. It stressed that its app "wasn't hacked" and that that the perpetrators hadn't obtained sensitive member data.
In 2018, various sections of the Nigerian media witnessed a series of attacks including a military raid on Daily Trust Newspaper premises, the arrest of Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist with Premium Times, for refusing to disclose his sources.
Russia, which the report branded as another "pioneer of repression", continued to slide down the table to 149th place. Instead, it is Turkmenistan that has captured the bottom spot this year.
RSF attributed the improvement to the election of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has brought "a breath of fresh air after a bad decade in which South Korea fell more than 30 places".
Armenia's ranking was up 19 spots to 61.
The previously dire situation across the border in Uzbekistan has also somewhat improved due to the "thaw that began after dictator Islam Karimov's death in 2016", the report added.
Totalitarian Eritrea was even worse.
"President John "Bulldozer" Magufuli is in the process of joining the club of press freedom's predators". With totalitarian propaganda, censorship, intimidation, physical violence and online-harassment, the region continues to exhibit all of the problems that can beset journalism, it states.