U.S. Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings.

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#1 Posted by Master_Live (14163 posts) -

U.S. Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings

According to a new report from Reporters Without Borders, there was a profound erosion of press freedom in the United States in 2013.

After a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists and revelations about mass surveillance, the United States plunged 13 spots in the group's global press freedom rankings to number 46.

Reporters Without Borders writes that the U.S. faced "one of the most significant declines" in the world last year. Even the United Kingdom, whose sustained campaign to criminalize the Guardian's reporters and intimidate journalists has made headlines around the world, dropped only three spots, to number 33. The U.S. fell as many spots as Paraguay, where "the pressure on journalists to censor themselves keeps on mounting."

Citing the Justice Department's aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, including its secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, the authors write that "freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result."

The threats facing newsgathering in the U.S. are felt by both longstanding journalists like New York Times national security reporter James Risen, who may serve jail time for refusing to reveal a source, and non-traditional digital journalists like Barrett Brown.

Brown is a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on private intelligence firms and government contractors. He now faces more than 100 years in jail for linking to stolen documents as part of his reporting, even though he had no involvement in the actual theft.

The United States' new press freedom ranking comes on the heels of a new and dangerous campaignagainst Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who have reported on the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

In recent weeks, high-ranking members of the intelligence community and members of Congress have called NSA journalists "accomplices" to Snowden's leaks, and accused them of trafficking in stolen goods. And as Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation points out, these comments are only the most recent in a long line of attacks.

In 2012, after a series of high-profile journalist arrests at Occupy protests, the United States dropped 27 places in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, landing in 47th place. The following year saw some progress as the U.S. climbed back up to 33rd place, but the last year has erased those gains.

The Reporters Without Borders study makes it clear that the struggles for freedom of expression and freedom of the press are global in scope, and deeply connected across borders. "Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example," the authors write.

Our press freedom ranking is important not just as a measure of the democratic health of our press, but also because hostility toward the press at home can legitimize threats to journalists abroad. We have to work in our communities and in Washington to fight for policies that protect all acts of journalism.

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Secretly seizing the AP phone records, nice.

#2 Posted by deeliman (2386 posts) -

My country ranks second... not bad.

#3 Posted by Storm_Marine (10767 posts) -

gj Obama

#4 Posted by jimkabrhel (15417 posts) -

Thank you GWB.

#5 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

Thank you GWB.

I really hope you are being sarcastic.

#6 Edited by GazaAli (22503 posts) -

@jimkabrhel said:

Thank you GWB.

I really hope you are being sarcastic.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to speak about this with absolute confidence, but didn't GWB take several measures and enacted different laws after 9/11 that supposedly greatly infringed on several constitutional amendments and did undermine certain liberties and freedoms? I imagine that continued even after he left office. I recall something like the patriot act for instance.

#7 Posted by jimkabrhel (15417 posts) -

@GazaAli said:

@AmazonTreeBoa said:
@jimkabrhel said:

Thank you GWB.

I really hope you are being sarcastic.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to speak about this with absolute confidence, but didn't GWB take several measures and enacted different laws after 9/11 that supposedly greatly infringed on several constitutional amendments and did undermine certain liberties and freedoms? I imagine that continued even after he left office. I recall something like the patriot act for instance.

You are correct. Though Obama can be blamed for part of the snooping the NSA is doing, GWB should be given his due for the Patriot Act.

#8 Posted by dave123321 (33756 posts) -

America should be ashamed.

But I feel that we will still be getting the look at North Korea and be happy comments

#9 Posted by deeliman (2386 posts) -

It's pretty sad if you have to compare your country to north korea

#10 Posted by GazaAli (22503 posts) -

America should be ashamed.

But I feel that we will still be getting the look at North Korea and be happy comments

I never understood the benchmark Americans use to measure their country against. They only seem to be interested in comparing themselves to China, North Korea, Cuba, Mexico, and some other dirt poor Latin American states. Consequently they do feel perfectly content most of the time.

I'm not talking about you of course, I can tell you're being sarcastic.

#11 Edited by Master_Live (14163 posts) -

If Obama and the democrats held such contempt against the Patriot Act they should had repealed it when they had the House and 60 on the Senate. Put up or shut the fuck up.

#12 Posted by themajormayor (25698 posts) -

USA is almost a one party state.

#13 Edited by Riverwolf007 (23500 posts) -

we must do whatever we can to enable journalists to continue to make shyt up mix it with their personal prejudices, editorialize it to appeal to a certain demographic then call it news.

freedom!

#14 Edited by Wilfred_Owen (20834 posts) -

Good thing I don't read the news.

#15 Edited by Solaryellow (463 posts) -

The blame needs to be shared with both the politicians and the average dumb American who seems more interested in reality, entertainment and sports than rights and freedoms. Our politicians know the amount of stupidity contained in the average American brain is vast and they know how easy it is to get get people focused on matters which don't matter.

#16 Edited by mattbbpl (10570 posts) -

If Obama and the democrats held such contempt against the Patriot Act they should had repealed it when they had the House and 60 on the Senate. Put up or shut the **** up.

That's the problem, they don't have contempt for it. Nor do Republicans.

There are camps in both that dislike it (or at least claim to), but neither party has enough universal disdain for it to abolish it.

#17 Edited by thebest31406 (3323 posts) -

The probable conviction of Glenn Greenwald alone illustrates the amount of "freedom" one has within the US press.

#18 Posted by one_plum (6344 posts) -

If Obama and the democrats held such contempt against the Patriot Act they should had repealed it when they had the House and 60 on the Senate. Put up or shut the fuck up.

The Democrats are Republicans are two sides of the same coin. The two-party system is the issue.

#19 Posted by Serraph105 (27812 posts) -

The blame needs to be shared with both the politicians and the average dumb American who seems more interested in reality, entertainment and sports than rights and freedoms. Our politicians know the amount of stupidity contained in the average American brain is vast and they know how easy it is to get get people focused on matters which don't matter.

why shouldn't Americans be interested in reality?

#20 Edited by Solaryellow (463 posts) -

Reality shows as in following the lives of complete strangers.

Believe me, if the average American was interested in reality, I doubt we'd be in such the mess we are in right now.

#21 Posted by Ratchet_Fan8 (5544 posts) -

haha owned

#22 Edited by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

If Obama and the democrats held such contempt against the Patriot Act they should had repealed it when they had the House and 60 on the Senate. Put up or shut the fuck up.

This. In fact the very same Democrats who screamed from the rooftops about the Patriot Act under GWB praise the same type of policies under Obama. To be fair, it has also been a flip flop for Republicans. They all talk a good game, if Obama was serious about anything we would be out of Gitmo and AFG as well.

Even so....I do not recall the scandals under the Bush administration that involved spying on the press and specific political groups. Obama owns this shit.

#23 Posted by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

@one_plum said:
@Master_Live said:

If Obama and the democrats held such contempt against the Patriot Act they should had repealed it when they had the House and 60 on the Senate. Put up or shut the fuck up.

The Democrats are Republicans are two sides of the same coin. The two-party system is the issue.

This we can agree on.

#24 Posted by MlauTheDaft (3359 posts) -

We're nr. 7, although our press is still horribly biased and sensationalistic.

#25 Posted by deeliman (2386 posts) -

@vfibsux Do you really believe the spying only began when obama cam into office?