We're Number 53! We're Number 53!
According to some nosey international group, the United States has again fallen down the Worldwide Press Freedom Index.
The new index puts the USA at No. 53 -- even with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga!
The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of "national security" to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his "war on terrorism." The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media's right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.Oh well. At least we're still ahead of Burkina Faso, Kosovo, the Congo, Russia, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia!
Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year.
France, the United States and Japan slip further Mauritania and Haiti gain much ground [Reporters sans frontières]
U.S. Rank on Press Freedom Slides Lower [Washington Post]