Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are central issues in Latvia, a country that only gained its independence from the USSR in 1991. Under decades of Soviet Occupation where freedom of the press was strongly suppressed, ensuring a free media, in all of its forms, for the transition to a democratic Latvia was a central task for the new government. However, freedom of the press and the independence of the media in Latvia has experiences several troubling developments in recent years; looking at Reporters Without Borders freedom of the Press rankings, in 2009 Latvia was 14th on the list and feel steeply to number 30 the next year and in 2011-2012 saw a further fall in the rankings to 50th. These are no small movements and illustrate that over the past years, particularly after the on-set of the financial crises, media freedom has again become a central concern.
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