Every year, the group Reporters Without Borders releases a World Press Freedom Index, comparing press freedom and freedom of information in 180 countries around the world. To acommplish this, they examine a wide set of criteria, including,
“…media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.”
This year’s Index indicated a worrisome global decline in press freedom over the past year.
Of the 180 countries examined for the 2015 Index, approximately two-thirds performed worse than last year. Globally, violations of information freedom are up 8% as compared to 2014.
“Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents,”
Reporters Without Borders says in a presentation that accompanies the Index.
The United States was part of that trend, dropping three spots to 49th on the list. The government’s hounding of New York Times reporter James Risen for his CIA source, as well as its ongoing battles with Wikileaks, were cited as the main reasons for this drop.
Check out the full list for yourself and learn more about press freedom in other countries here: Reporters Without Borders – 2015 World Press Freedom Index