Thursday, May 03, 2018

It's World Press Freedom Day; U.S. drops to 45th in latest Reporters Without Borders ranking of news-media freedom

Apropos of World Press Freedom Day, which is today: The United States has dropped to 45th on an annual ranking of countries' press freedom, by Reporters Without Borders. That's down two spots from last year. "The survey ranked 180 countries based on factors such as pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information," Sally French reports for MarketWatch. "The index is compiled via a questionnaire distributed to experts based on both quantitative data and qualitative analysis.

The report cites President Trump's animosity toward the press as the reason for the lower ranking, noting that he has called reporters "enemies of the state," as Russian dictator Joseph Stalin once did. The report also cited Trump's attempts to block some media outlets from the White House, his routine use of the term "fake news" to discredit critical reporting, his calls to revoke some media outlets' broadcasting licenses, and anti-media tweets such as a "doctored pro wrestling video showing Trump body slamming an opponent who has the CNN logo superimposed over their head," French reports. See the complete rankings here.

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