CRF Blog

The Obama administration’s pursuit of whistleblowers is taking a toll

by Hannah Whelan

In The Obama administration’s pursuit of whistleblowers is taking a toll for the Columbia Journalism Review, Lauren Kirchner reviews the decline in relative press freedom in the U.S.

Last year was a rough one for freedom of the press in the US, and it shows. Every year, Reporters Without Borders calculates the relative press freedom of 180 countries, taking into consideration the mainstream-media journalists, citizen bloggers, and news producers who are arrested, imprisoned, abducted, forced into exile, attacked, threatened, censored, and killed in connection to their journalistic work. The countries are ranked from most to least free.

The US, as expected, has always been pretty high up: Last year it placed 32nd, after places like Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada. In this year’s index, though, the US dropped 13 places, to 46th. The US now places after Latvia, after El Salvador, after Papua New Guinea, and Romania. No offense to Latvia, but what’s going on? [more]