By Rob Beschizza at 9:11 am Wed, Jan 25, 2012
In this year's Reporters Without Borders international press freedom index, the U.S. slumped to 47th place, a fall of 27 places, largely due to arrests of journalists covering protests. The full report is available in PDF format. [RSF]
I wonder how low we’d rank if they counted the 6 people Obama and company have charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for talking to the press?
USA! USA! USA!
We need to look forward instead of looking back..at book publishing warcriminals .. but if you are a whistleblower then we are going to jail your ass..
This is ridiculous. The US press is freer than any other country to print what ever they want that furthers the goals of their corporate owners.
The fact that you would say that says you are not informed.
Below Germany? What the hell? How did they manage to do that?
I mean, I do like my country, I think it offers some solid basic rights and has some solid institution, but unlimited free speech was and isn’t one of our strong points. Lots of provisions on what’s allowed to be said in in the news, lots of questionable practices in the press. (Did you know that German *doesn’t* even have a word for fact-checker and they it’s customary to have the interviewee edit the interview before print?)
So let me rephrase the question: HOE THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?
(’cause I’m too afraid to read the report.)
I read a couple of German papers daily, like Der Spiegel and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and they seem as good or better than most big US papers to me.
Err, Der Spiegel is a weekly. Are you by any chance referring to Spiegel Online?
Anyway, I’m not saying that German news are a horrible, horrible mess. They are pretty free, on a global scale But they have certain peculiarities which are contrary to – in my eyes – good reporting.
Like the aforementioned editing of interviews.
That the US which her strong tradition falls below Germany boggles my mind.
Ever heard of Rupert Murdoch?
Of course. Makes perfect sense – UK, USA, Australia – all the same colour.
Well, I guess you have to make a distinction between “freedom of the press” and “good reporting”. I’m german too, and there’s no doubt that a lot is wrong with our press – but almost all problems amount to self-censorship, and nothing madated by the government. To wit: Japan ranks pretty high on the list, too (definitely above the US), and Japan has the same problem as Germany – only times a Gazillion.
I admittedly mixed both, though Reporters W/out Borders apparently limit themselves to direct intervention by the state.
I was just flabbergasted that Germany’s ahead. Or rather, how far the US with her strong tradition of free speech and free press has fallen.
What wrong tradition of the US do you mean exactly? They used to be big at free speech, but that’s not the same s free press. Arresting journalist who are doing their job is never good, and their most reliable news seems to come from a comedy show.
Actually, getting poignant and necessary truth from coedy shows and papers is a grand tradition. We used to have the Simplicissimus, noe we have the Titanic. Though The Onion is better, mho.
Oh, just realized. There’s a difference between news and truth.
According to the report, the US’s ranking was negatively affected by police interference with coverage of protests, particularly the arrest of numerous journalists covering the Occupy story. I’m a bit surprised, though that Canada ranked as highly, even in 2010-11 when we had similar problems with journalists, including some high-profile mainstream media reporters, arrested during the G-20 protests.
Apparently the US fell quite a bit because they were arresting journalists that tried to cover the OWS protests. That’s a very serious infringement of the most basic aspect of press freedom.
I don’t know much about German press. With their 16th place and a negative score, they’re doing quite well compared to other large European countries; they’re only behind pretty much all of northern Europe and some smaller central European countries.
Is anyone else surprised/impressed by Namibia’s location?
Only a little. From what I understand, Namibia more or less has their shit together. This is why you usually don’t hear anything about it.
Unfortunately, self-censorship by big media, servile to the interests of the ruling class, seems to be the primary limiting factor to press freedom in this United States.
This map is tottaly wrong , completely wrong , One hundred percent wrong !!! I live in Brazil, I been all over South America, I know most of our neighbour countries personally, and I can tell, Brazil should be white, Uruguay Should be white, Argentina should be red or black, Chile should be white and the other countries are white or yellow, never orange ,,, depending on what period one is looking. Ask Cretina Kishner
Wait, you know them personally? Tell Chile I want my towels back, it’s been a month already!
Why are they using a Mercator projection for this map? There is no need for it.
Yes, it’s horrible, but my guess would be that they either didn’t bother/didn’t even think about it. And sadly, most people are used to it.
How does Canada rate a “White – Situation Good?” We beat up reporters with the gusto as anyone else during the G20 summit in Toronto. Next to Britain, Ontario is one of the world’s Libel Tourist hot-spots. The Federal Government doesn’t speak to reporters except for issuing them press releases and no reporter is allowed access to any government official, including the head of the R.C.M.P. unless there’s a political officer in the room from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Don’t forget how we imprisoned photographers from that commie rag the National Post and arrested the cameramen following that well-known thug Craig Kielburger.
I didn’t know about all that. My first thought seeing seeing Canada’s “good” status was the too frequent and broad use a gag orders regarding ongoing court cases.
This makes me recall that great New York Post cover from The World Cup: “USA WINS 1-1“
I find http://gnnr.tumblr.com/post/696996218/what-that-usa-wins-1-1-headline-really-meant oddly believable, though.
Aw thanks. I didn’t know that story. It is The Post though you know….
Anybody know who they named as the journalists arrested? The pdf was just the rankings, ‘less I missed something, always possible.
Yay for Estonia. Tying for 3rd’s not bad at all..
No way Argentina is freer than Brazil.
how does one even go about ranking North Korea?
If you’ve already given China the worst ranking on your scale, it should be an easy decision, no?
The map is not colored properly: According to the ranking, US (score 14) is below Hungary (score 10) and the same as Romania (score 14), but the map colors Hungary and Romania with the ‘noticeable problems’ orange, while the US with the ‘satisfactory situation’ yellow.
Guys, Hungary has dropped fewer places than the US to a higher ranking than the US despite amending its constitution to GIVE ITS RULING PARTY DIRECT CONTROL OVER THE NATION’S MEDIA.
The US, meanwhile, has dropped because a few journalists were inappropriately arrested at protests (which is bad but less bad that deciding than your country doesn’t need a free press at all).
These rankings are completely nonsensical.
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