REPORT: It Wasn't A Good Year for Journalists

The organization also published it newest list of the countries that do the best and worst jobs of safeguarding press freedom. At the top was Iceland, and at the bottom was Eritrea. The United States ranked number 48, behind Cyprus and Nicaragua but ahead of Togo, Mauritania, and Bulgaria.--David Schonauer

Reporters Without Borders has released its annual report about the state of press freedom around the world, and the news for journalists isn’t good. Here’s a brief overview from the report:

RWB’s annual report on press freedom highlights that the year 2007 was a tough one for the media with more and more journalists killed (the number of deaths, 87 in 2007, was the highest since 1994) or subjected to harsh punishments, with the cases of censorship piling up. New media are also under attack: It is unlikely that the job of journalists will get any easier in the months ahead. Especially in view of the elections to be held this year in countries whose leaders distrust independent journaliss (Russia, Pakistan, Iran’ Zimbabwe, etc) and with the growing lack if inefficacy of press freedom defenders. The report also regrets that impunity prevails in murders of journalists and highlights the necessity of the trial into the murders of Russian journalists Anna Politovskaya and Turkish reporter Hrant Dink to be exemplary. The repression is getting more subtle with more and more regimes accusing reporters of “disturbing the peace” or “subversion” rather than “defamation” or insults.

The report also says that “Iraq remains the world’s biggest graveyard for journalists” and notes that “all but one of the 47 journalists killed [there] last year were Iraqis.”

The organization also published it newest list of the countries that do the best and worst jobs of safeguarding press freedom. At the top was Iceland, and at the bottom was Eritrea. The United States ranked number 48, behind Cyprus and Nicaragua but ahead of Togo, Mauritania, and Bulgaria.
--David Schonauer