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What is the Global Expression Report?

The Global Expression Report (GxR) is an annual look at the right to free expression and information worldwide.

Its unique metric, based on 25 indicators of freedom of expression, tracks freedom of expression across 161 countries to create a score between 0 and 100 for every country. That score places each country in 1 of 5 expression categories: Open, Less Restricted, Restricted, Highly Restricted, or Crisis.

Throughout the year, the GxR team produces periodic analyses based on the annual release of data by the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem). The V-Dem dataset is the world’s most authoritative data resource for examining the health of democracies around the world. ARTICLE 19 is grateful to the team at V-Dem for supporting our work on the GxR and its precursors since 2017.

What makes the Global Expression Report different?

While we can create and design data sets related to housing, education, or access to clean water, freedom of expression – the right to speak and to know – was long presumed to be immeasurable. This lack of data meant we could not know how many people worldwide enjoyed or lacked freedom of expression, which is foundational to all other human rights. 

That’s where the GxR comes in.

The report is unique in that it provides a concrete measure and quantifiable perspective on expression: from posting online to protesting, investigating, and accessing the information needed to keep leaders accountable.

How can the Global Expression Report be used?

The GxR provides data that can be used to inform advocacy and campaigning. It can provide a basis for analysing progress, backsliding, and other trends at the national, regional, and global levels. And it can help to identify how we can work together to protect our freedoms and build more equitable, fair, sustainable systems.

Who produces the Global Expression Report?

The Global Expression Report is produced by:

Research Team

Emily Hart (journalist, writer, and podcast producer working in Colombia)
Nicole Steward-Streng (social science analyst, statistician, and researcher, based in the USA)
Greg Maya (data consultant, based in Spain)

About ARTICLE 19

ARTICLE 19 is an international think–do organisation that propels the freedom of expression movement locally and globally to ensure all people realise the power of their voices.

Together with our partners, we develop cutting-edge research and legal and policy analysis to drive change worldwide, lead work on the frontlines of expression through our 9 regional hubs across the globe, and propel change by sparking innovation in the global freedom of expression movement.

We do this by working on 5 key themes: promoting media independence, increasing access to information, protecting journalists, expanding civic space, and placing human rights at the heart of developing digital spaces.