Bernie Sanders‘ preference for the socialist stylings of the Nordic countries may be a running laugh line/point of contention for some of his detractors, but in the case of press freedom, most of the Nordic countries, headed by Finland, top Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 index for press freedom.
The list as a whole, and state of global press freedom, in general, is trending in the wrong direction, toward a “deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels.”
The decline in press freedom represent an assault on the practice of journalism on every front: increased government control and pressure, new laws that increase the ability of governments to censor journalists, media consolidation by wealthy buyers with ulterior motives, the cutting off Internet access and destruction of infrastructure, the jailing of journalists, and, at its most extreme, attacks on and murders of journalists.
The United States, for its part, is 41st on the list, behind Slovenia and above Burkina Faso. It’s an improvement over the previous year, when the U.S. ranked 49th. Reporters Without Borders site cites one “major obstacle” to press freedom in this country: “the government’s war on whistleblowers who leak information about its surveillance activities, spying and foreign operations, especially those linked to counter-terrorism.”
The fact that journalists are not covered by a federal shield law was another factor that negatively impacted its rank.
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