U.S. Ranks 44th in Worldwide Press Freedom Index
Nation's openness sinking after Sept. 11
10/31/05 "ohmynews.com" -- -- The annual worldwide press freedom
index from Reporters Without Borders shows the United States, which
is supposedly spreading freedom and liberty throughout the world, is
in a fast decline regarding the freedom of its own press.
The report ranked the United States in 44th place, an atomic drop
from a favorable position of 22nd held last year, and from a
handsome 17th place in 2002.
The organization mentioned that several journalists were expelled
from the country since the terrorist attacks of 2001.
South Korea, positioned at 34th place, is improving its image,
partly because of open-source media OhmyNews. Any citizen in South
Korea can be a reporter, thanks to its policy of posting submissions
from people with all backgrounds.
OhmyNews was key in determining the outcome of the 2002 South Korean
presidential election, as the nation's youth supported candidate Roh
Moo Hyun. After being elected, Roh granted his first interview to
Denmark also has an open-source news Web site, Flix.dk, but is
regarded as years behind the South Korean site in terms of influence
on public perceptions.
Open source journalism and Internet blogs are hooking more and more
readers for every day. At the same time the mainstream media, or
established media, has been on a steady decline by losing readership
and subscriptions during the last years.
Repeated evidence of the media printing government propaganda and
misleading information leading up to the U.S.-led Iraq invasion have
surely made the decline of mainstream readers accelerate.
European nations Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, the
Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland tied for first. North Korea was
ranked last out of 167 countries surveyed.
A full list can be found at the RSF Web site.
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