Press Freedom on the Decline

B-ArtS6CIAA6pVY (1)


Worldwide press freedom is on the decline, according to Reporters Without Borders.  Finland, Norway and Denmark have the freest media, while Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom of the list.  China slid to 176 out of 180, and the US dropped 29 spots to number 49 out of 180 countries meaning its press is less free than that in Burkina Faso, Salvador or Botswana.  Why the precipitous slide?

“We consider that the Obama administration has launched a war against whistleblowers,” [RSF US Director Delphine] Halgand said. “This year is a continuation of the concern we already expressed that national security protection has been more and more threatening freedom of information in the U.S.”

The organization is also concerned about the impact of Ferguson, where at least 15 journalists were arrested.

Last week, blogpost of the week was Collin Fifer’s on disaster porn.

Please come to class on time tomorrow, since we will be watching a film.

Reading: Dexter Filkins “The Forever War” 168-277

Into the Valley of Death (Sebastian Junger, Vanity Fair)

ASSIGNMENT: For Thursday Feb 26th 9 am:  How developed is citizen journalism in your country?   Write a 500 word blog profiling one prominent citizen journalist (extra credit if you manage to interview them!)  Make sure to also provide the context for your country, such as how many citizen journalists there are, what challenges they face and which social media tools are the most popular.   If there are no citizen journalists, write a piece analyzing the obstacles to the emergence of citizen journalism – or, if you have touched upon that before – whether there are prominent citizen journalists in exile.