In the past five years the UK has slipped 12 places in the index.
Reporters without Borders (RSF), the campaign group behind the index, said in a statement:
Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom were marked by high-profile media bashing, a highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation and fake news.
The rate at which democracies are approaching the tipping point is alarming for all those who understand that if media freedom is not secure, then none of the other freedoms can be guaranteed.
RSF raised concerns about the UK's Investigatory Powers Act, passed last November with little resistance in parliament, which granted UK intelligence agencies and police wide-ranging surveillance powers.