U.S. Ranked 36th Freest Press in the World
March 28, 2009
It is not economic prosperity but peace that guarantees press freedom. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the world press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders compiles every year and from the 2008 edition.
Said Reporters Without Borders:
“The post-9/11 world is now clearly drawn. Destabilized and on the defensive, the leading democracies are gradually eroding the space for freedoms. The economically most powerful dictatorships arrogantly proclaim their authoritarianism, exploiting the international community’s divisions and the ravages of the wars carried out in the name of the fight against terrorism.
Religious and political taboos are taking greater hold by the year in countries that used to be advancing down the road of freedom.”
Aside from New Zealand and Canada, the first 20 positions on the Index are held by European countries, with Iceland, Luxembourg and Norway tied for first. While the economic disparities among the top 20 are immense, what they have in common is a parliamentary democratic system, and not being involved in any war. This is not the case with the United States, which ranks 36th domestically and 119th outside its own territory.
The worst violators of free expression were Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd) and Eritrea (173rd).