The United States slipped from number 20 to 49 in press freedom rankings according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. is now ranked with countries like Niger, Malta and Romania. The reporters group cites the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers as a serious threat to the free flow of information and a main contributor to its low rank. (CNN, February 13, 2015, by Jeremy Diamond)
Finland heads the list with Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria, Canada, Jamaica and Estonia completing the top ten. At the bottom were China, Syria Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. “While the US might be relatively safe for journalists in terms of imprisonment or violence, coming in 49th is embarrassing. America is supposed to be a safe haven for journalists and allegedly has the best news media in the world. The consistent drop in the rankings proves that’s not even close to true and a lot of work needs to be done to improve the country’s position,” wrote Amy Eddings of Ring of Fire Radio, February 16, 2015.