We’re 46th! USA!
This is disturbing (or, at least, it ought to be), via Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic: The United States Just Finished 46th in a Press-Freedom Contest
Every year, Reporters Without Borders ranks 180 countries in order of how well they safeguard press freedom. This year, the United States suffered a precipitous drop.
The latest Press Freedom Index ranked the U.S. 46th.
Take it from Lee Greenwood. "I’m proud to be an American because at least I know I’m freer than 47th-ranked Haiti" just doesn’t have the same exceptionalist ring to it.
From the Reporters Without Borders report:
US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak. It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a “shield law” to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level. The revival of the legislative process is little consolation for James Risen of The New York Times, who is subject to a court order to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information. And less still for Barrett Brown, a young freelance journalist facing 105 years in prison in connection with the posting of information that hackers obtained from Statfor, a private intelligence company with close ties to the federal government.
The variables used are pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. The methodology can be viewed here.