WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Reporters Without Borders: U.S. sinks to # 46 among world nations for press freedom

Coverage of leaks from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden - and the U.S. Government's attempts to thwart those leaks - have taken a toll on freedom of the press in the United States, in the annual rankings of countries from Reporters Without Borders.

A case CAN be made, though, that the United Kingdom should drop below the U.S., given how the GUARDIAN had to move much of its NSA analysis to the United States.

Also interesting how European nations occupy the top 8 positions, with New Zealand at # 9. One former Soviet republic lands in the top 15, with Estonia at # 11. I also would not have predicted that the highest-ranking Western Hemispheric nation would be Jamaica, at # 17, followed by Canada.

(Another aspect not even covered in this report: How U.S. media conglomerates hellbent on returning quarterly profits downsize, close bureaus, and think long and hard about any story which might lead to a costly legal battle. It's no accident Al Jazeera has more bureaus around the world than anyone else. It's no accident some Canadian and European media often draw circles around U.S. media in providing insight into international stories.)

Here's a summary of that report from REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS...


Here are the rankings:


Read the report on the Americas, notably threats to media freedom in the U.S. & Brazil...


Posted at 2:45pm on February 12, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 3:59pm
Strange limitations: The CBC has blocked international access to its news programs for the duration of the Winter Olympics. All that's available is a cryptic announcement about rights limitations.

It's easy to blame the bean counters but the media need to check the beams in their own eyes. The media have gotten used to having content handed to them (press releases, news conferences and other staged "ops") and accepting what's handed to them uncritically. They have also gotten in the habit of not challenging sources out of fear of losing "access." The only way anything gets out today is because of leakers because few if any so-called "reporters" are digging it out.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 8:41pm
The biggest threat to freedom of press AND the first amendment: BHO

Thu, Feb 13, 2014 8:05am
These rankings are total BS. They are based on a questionnaire sent to "journalists" in various countries. Like many surveys, it is a collection of opinions and not a valid and systematic assessment of facts. Some of the questionnaire items are highly questionable. Example: a country loses points if it has government-supported media. I guess that makes the BBC a threat to press freedom.

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