Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Freedom of the Press Worldwide in 2013




The poster, "Freedom of the Press Worldwide 2013," is the work an organization called Reporter ohne Grenzen (Reporters without Borders). Using a variety of variables, including the number of journalists killed, imprisoned, or harassed, the organization has classified countries according to press freedom. The light colored areas represent countries with high levels of press freedom while the darker areas are viewed as places in a "very serious situation." 
Detail Section

The USA, France, Japan, and the UK are considered "in a satisfactory situation" while Namibia, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic are rated as good, higher than the USA. I'm not an expert on press freedom, but I'm a little skeptical about these ratings. For one thing, Germany censors what the press can say about the Holocaust, Ireland has an unofficial policy of avoiding provocative stories about the Catholic church, Finland shies away from antagonizing its neighbor Russia, and the Namibian press is hardly scrupulous. Perhaps, the poster is referring to journalist safety. Yet, as far as I know, American journalists enjoy as much safety as their German, Czech, or Irish counterparts. 

The USA was the first country's to codified freedom of the Press and freedom of Speech in its Constitution, and accordingly, the press have few, if any limitsJust listen to talk radio, watch Fox News, or grab a copy of the New York Times.

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