The state of free press in the U.S. is bad, according to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières).
The U.S. was ranked 46th among the 180 nations surveyed, falling 13 places since last year.
Finland, the Netherlands and Norway are among the most free nations for journalists. Iran, China and North Korea are among the most restrictive for reporters.
America’s bad ranking was based on the conviction of WikiLeaks’ informant Bradley (Chelsea) Manning and the treatment of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, along with the Obama administration’s “increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks,” the watchdog group said.
In 2013, it came to light that the Justice Department had secretly obtained phone logs of Associated Press reporters, monitored the personal email account for FOX News reporter James Rosen in order to discover officials speaking to the press, and subpoenaed James Risen of The New York Times to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information.
Obama said in May 2013 that he was “troubled” at the possible overreach by the Justice Department and ordered the agency to review its guidelines on dealing with press investigations.
Additionally, the Obama White House has been accused of shielding the President from the press by not allowing the White House Press Corps sufficient access to photograph and question Obama during his official duties.
“I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering,” New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson told Al Jazeera America in late January.
“The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It’s on a scale never seen before,” she added.
The World Press Freedom Index is based on the answers to a questionnaire from partner nongovernmental organizations from each respective country.
The questionnaire measures pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure.
Finland was ranked the most free and Eritrea was ranked last.
9. New Zealand
171. Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)
173. Islamic Republic of Iran
177. Syrian Arab Republic
179. DPRK (North Korea)
In case your are wondering Lebanon ranked 106, while Cyprus north (Turkish) ranked 83 , Kuwait 91 and Israel 96.
In case you are wondering how Lebanon fared compared to 2013 … , like everything in Lebanon these days 2013 was better . In 2013 lebanon ranked 101 while Israel was 112, Cyprus north 94 and kuwait 77.
Cyprus ( Greek) ranked 24
NY Daily News