Global press freedom at lowest point in a decade

The annual Freedom House report on the state of press freedom in the world is something of a downer this year, as the democracy group's survey shows that fewer people enjoy the benefits of living in a country with a free press.

Associated Press:

Journalists in many parts of the world face deteriorating reporting conditions, with a democracy watchdog group noting a sharp decline in global press freedom in 2014.

In its annual report released Wednesday, the group Freedom House says global press freedom declined last year to its lowest point in more than 10 years. Only one in seven people live in countries where coverage of political news is strong, journalists' safety is guaranteed and state meddling in media affairs is minor, Freedom House said.

The worst offenders on the Freedom House list were: Belarus, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Ranked best: Norway, Sweden and Belgium. The United States was ranked 34th on the list of 199 countries and territories assessed.

Freedom House says one main factor driving the decline was newly passed restrictive laws against the media. The report cited laws in Russia and Mexico that place new controls on blogs. Physical violence and intimidation of journalists continued to be a problem, especially in places such as Syria and Nigeria.

"Governments used security or anti-terrorism laws as a pretext to silence critical voices," said the report's project manager, Jennifer Dunham. "Militant groups and criminal gangs used increasingly brazen tactics to intimidate journalists, and media owners attempted to manipulate news content to serve their political or business interests."

Freedom House ranks countries as free, partly free or not free. Of the countries it looked at last year, it found 63, or 32 percent, as free; 71, or 36 percent, as partly free; and 65, or 32 percent, as not free.

Expect the US ranking to drop further as the government "reforms" campaign finance laws, the IRS "reforms" tax exempt regulations, restricting political speech, and the government "reforms" the internet. 

Note that among the worst offenders in the survey are our new found friends in Cuba and Iran. It makes the heart all warm and fuzzy to realize that President Obama is trying to distance himself from free nations like Israel while cozying up with tyrannies who throw reporters in jail.

 

The annual Freedom House report on the state of press freedom in the world is something of a downer this year, as the democracy group's survey shows that fewer people enjoy the benefits of living in a country with a free press.

Associated Press:

Journalists in many parts of the world face deteriorating reporting conditions, with a democracy watchdog group noting a sharp decline in global press freedom in 2014.

In its annual report released Wednesday, the group Freedom House says global press freedom declined last year to its lowest point in more than 10 years. Only one in seven people live in countries where coverage of political news is strong, journalists' safety is guaranteed and state meddling in media affairs is minor, Freedom House said.

The worst offenders on the Freedom House list were: Belarus, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Ranked best: Norway, Sweden and Belgium. The United States was ranked 34th on the list of 199 countries and territories assessed.

Freedom House says one main factor driving the decline was newly passed restrictive laws against the media. The report cited laws in Russia and Mexico that place new controls on blogs. Physical violence and intimidation of journalists continued to be a problem, especially in places such as Syria and Nigeria.

"Governments used security or anti-terrorism laws as a pretext to silence critical voices," said the report's project manager, Jennifer Dunham. "Militant groups and criminal gangs used increasingly brazen tactics to intimidate journalists, and media owners attempted to manipulate news content to serve their political or business interests."

Freedom House ranks countries as free, partly free or not free. Of the countries it looked at last year, it found 63, or 32 percent, as free; 71, or 36 percent, as partly free; and 65, or 32 percent, as not free.

Expect the US ranking to drop further as the government "reforms" campaign finance laws, the IRS "reforms" tax exempt regulations, restricting political speech, and the government "reforms" the internet. 

Note that among the worst offenders in the survey are our new found friends in Cuba and Iran. It makes the heart all warm and fuzzy to realize that President Obama is trying to distance himself from free nations like Israel while cozying up with tyrannies who throw reporters in jail.