What do the U.S. and France have in common? (Aside from a love of pommes frites
, that is). Both continue to fall in the estimation of the Worldwide Press Freedom Index
, compiled by Reporters Without Borders
. Since 2002, the first year of the index, the U.S. has gone from 17th to 53rd (now tied with Tonga, Croatia and Botswana), France from 11th to 35th.
From the article:
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.
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.
For information on how the index was compiled, click here