While integration into NATO and the European Union has had a positive effect on press freedom conditions in most of Central Europe and the Baltic states, the situation for journalists in Russia and the former Soviet republics has worsened steadily, with governments relying on authoritarian tactics to silence the media. Even reformist governments in the Balkans failed to make significant improvements in press freedom conditions because most leaders in the region avoided addressing the lawlessness, government corruption, and organized crime that plague their societies.
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