“Drastic Decline in Freedom of Information in 2014”: America Drops Drastically in Global Press Freedom Rankings

by | Feb 13, 2015 | Headline News | 37 comments

Do you LOVE America?



    This article was originally published at Zero Hedge.

    Editor’s Note: From the repressive tactics used against reporters at Ferguson, to the frequent attempts to arrest, prosecute or ‘disarm’ individuals filming the police, to attempts to strip the legal status of “journalist” and “press” from controversial individuals (including jailed reporter Barrett Brown, who shared leaked data hacked by ‘Anonymous’), it is clear that the United States is not the free country it once was, and freedom of speech and the freedom of the press is clearly slipping with other benchmark standards of the once free America.

    Additionally, there is an increasing subtle but draconian moves to force blogs and Internet sites to register and be regulated online, with the implications for chilled free speech all too clear to those watching. These events and more are further coupled with the pulling back of the curtain on surveillance – leaks, investigations and stiff-lipped defenses by officials have made all-too-clear that the spying on Americans – in their Internet and cell phone communications, and on the streets – is total and pervasive.

    The NSA and other related agencies and private firms have no interest whatsoever in honoring the Fourth Amendment, so why would anyone think they’d stand up for the First Amendment? If the worldwide attention on the police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and many others doesn’t change this trend, then things will surely get worse with time, and the understanding that actions against transparency will not be held in check.

    A milestone for the U.S. today… a tombstone tomorrow?

    World Press Freedom Index Plunges – USA Now Ranked #49 Globally

    The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents. There was a drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index performed less well than in the previous year.

    The annual global indicator, which measures the overall level of violations of freedom of information in 180 countries year by year, has risen to 3,719, an 8 percent increase over 2014 and almost 10 percent compared with 2013. The decline affected all continents.


    But as Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Mike Krieger notes, the bastion of press freedom in the land of the free, fell once again… to 49th!!

    In the United States, 2014 was marked by judicial harassment of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen in connection with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged under the Espionage Act with giving him classified information. US journalists are still not protected by a federal shield law that would guarantee their right not to name their sources or reveal other confidential information about their work. Meanwhile, at least 15 journalists were arbitrarily arrested during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against black teenager Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.


    – From Reporters Without Borders’ 2015 World Press Freedom Index

    The greatest myth we Americans collectively like to tell to ourselves is that we live in the “land of the free.” We particularly pride ourselves on “freedom of the press” — enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — but how free is this press really?

    According to the World Press Freedom Index, published each year by Reporters Without Borders, not that free at all. I highlighted last year’s plunge in the index in the post: U.S. Plunges to #46 in World Press Freedom Index, Below Romania and Just Above Haiti. Here’s an excerpt:

    As you might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USSA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position. As the screen shot shows, just above Haiti and just below Romania.

    Well the decline continued in 2014. Dropping three spots, the U.S. now comes in just below Burkina Faso, Niger and Malta to #49. The AP notes that:

    The U.S. fell three places to 49th amid a “war on information” by the Obama administration in some cases. Reporters also faced difficulty covering events like demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, where a black teenager was shot dead in August by a white police officer, Morillon said.

    It’s not just the U.S. either. There is a global trend away from press freedom, which makes perfect sense given that world wealth is basically being consolidated by a handful of oligarchs who don’t want the rabble to have access to anything but their various forms of propaganda. For example:

    War, the rise of non-state groups, crackdowns on demonstrations and economic crises provided a backdrop for a tough 2014. The Paris-based media watchdog said two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed in its annual World Press Freedom index scored worse than a year earlier.


    Western Europe, while top-ranked, lost the most ground as a region. Three Nordic countries headed the list, but there was slippage in Italy — where mafia and other threats weighed on journalists — and Iceland, where the relationship between the media and politicians soured, the group said.

    Here’s the list of countries that ranked ahead of the U.S.

    Rank Country
    1 Finland
    2 Norway
    3 Denmark
    4 Netherlands
    5 Sweden
    6 New Zealand
    7 Austria
    8 Canada
    9 Jamaica
    10 Estonia
    11 Ireland
    12 Germany
    13 Czech Republic
    14 Slovakia
    15 Belgium
    16 Costa Rica
    17 Namibia
    18 Poland
    19 Luxembourg
    20 Switzerland
    21 Iceland
    22 Ghana
    23 Uruguay
    24 Cyprus
    25 Australia
    26 Portugal
    27 Liechtenstein
    28 Latvia
    29 Suriname
    30 Belize
    31 Lithuania
    32 Andorra
    33 Spain
    34 United Kingdom
    35 Slovenia
    36 Cape Verde
    37 Eastern Caribbean
    38 France
    39 South Africa
    40 Samoa
    41 Trinidad and Tobago
    42 Botswana
    43 Chile
    44 Tonga
    45 El Salvador
    46 Burkina Faso
    47 Niger
    48 Malta
    49 United States

    When it comes to these United States, it’s not just press freedom that has been plunging. Economic freedom has been also spiraling down the toilet bowl ever since the year 2000. Recall the post from last fall, New Report – The United States’ Sharp Drop in Economic Freedom Since 2000 Driven by “Decline in Rule of Law”. Here’s an excerpt:

    Expanded use of regulation has also been an important contributing factor to the declining ratings of the United States. During the past decade, non-tariff trade barriers, restrictions on foreign investment, and business regulation have all grown extensively. The expanded use of regulation in the United States has resulted in sharp rating reductions for components such as independence of the judiciary, impartiality of the courts, and regulatory favoritism. To a large degree, the United States has experienced a significant move away from rule of law and toward a highly regulated, politicized, and heavily policed state.

    Land of the free?


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      1. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA. Keep watching Kardashian’s ass and the under inflated football debates. And don’t forget to watch the Zio owned media specially the Foux News.

        • Varafoukis Knows How To Play This Game

          But the Greek Finance Minister, Varafoukis, knows how to play this game because he is an expert at game theory. He has now opened up a dialogue with China and Russia. This is unacceptable to the EU and the United States. Neither the EU nor the U.S. would welcome a Russian naval base in Greece.

          Major Repercussions For Europe And The World

          Regardless of the outcome in Greece, there will be major repercussions for Europe and the world. The world is already very close to an avalanche of money printing and defaults. Also, other countries in the EU are waiting to follow Greece.

          In Spain, an even more radical opposition party than the one in Greece is now well ahead in the opinion polls and is likely to win the November election. Their platform is a canceling of debts with the EU, public control over energy and banks and withdrawal from NATO. And in Italy, all three opposition parties are anti-euro. They are calling for a return to the lira. This anti-euro sentiment is already spreading to France.

      2. Really? I’m so shocked. If you listen to the sheople, we’re the freest country in the world!

        • Were going down. Next election the illegals will vote in communism straight across.
          Beyond mad after reading latest congressional shit going on w/ McConnell and amnesty. Really discouraged. They need to be put in front of the firing squad.
          Whens the revolution. Im so damn ready.

          • Wake me when the shootin’ starts.
            Commies everywhere.

            • No need to wake you, The public has been buying enough ammo to wake EVERYONE up. Does anyone think an extra 3,000,000 guns PER YEAR sold under BO and 10’S of BILLIONS of rds of ammo are not connected with the police state issues? I am a peaceful person, but even I can see the public s getting ready for war on a stage far larger than the Gov’s few armored cars and 2 Billion rds of ammo..

          • I’m about to let my right to vote go…I mean really, does it even matter anymore? Just dial myself slowly off the “radar”.

            • LOL, and here all this time we all have been waiting for SHTF. Turns out it did and is while our backs were turned.


          • Calgagus:
            I have your “6”. I’m ready. I have had enough.
            It’s time to chew bubble gum and kick ass and I’m all out of bubble gum!!!!!
            S.T.S.F.P. N.R. N.S. N.Reb

          • COWARDS WITH GUNS,ARE STILL COWARDS,and most of the guns will be turned in when the government says LIFE IN PRISON IF YOUR CAUGHT WITH ONE,the cowards will give up their weapons in days,and be killed,they’d rather be dead then resist,AND SOON EVERYONE will see it happen,when the police gangs are are killing your children and nothing is done,ITS BECAUSE AMERICANS “ARE COWARDS”,and a lot of you will learn this the hard way………

        • Hey, stamp collectors, is there a U.S. stamp with the 2nd Amendment on it?

          The commie press sure pushes the 1st Amendment.

      3. Loss of freedom has been growing at an exponential rate for the last century.

      4. just keep spreading the word. educate everyone you can, little by little. and never, ever give up your guns.

      5. So much for the “Land of the Free”.

      6. Even an old Goldwater Conservative like me has to admit that this country is going to hell quickly.

        Crap that ObuttBoy gets away with daily would have gotten Nixon impeached twice! AGH2O in “64”!

        Why isn’t Eric DickHolder in Jail?, Why is Hillary up for President after Benghazi?, Why hasn’t Barry the Fairy been shot for treason?

        Like my Grand Pap used to tell me, “Watch out fur them Hogs”

        • R M Hoggs? M R Knot Hoggs. O S A R Hoggs!

      7. Wait for net neutrality , I also read somewhere that new rules regarding political speach on the internet will be rolled out on the same day.
        Another spoonful of socialism …yum yum .

        • hammerhead, the feds can take whatever policy they’re coming up with and stuff it. I won’t follow it.

        • Another shovel full of tyranny.

      8. Yet despite the obvious the majority of American’s still believe Muslims with boxcutters are responsible for 9-11. If our people are not willing to stand and defend our Constitutional freedoms, this present day apathy is what you get.

      9. Nothing going to be done about it.

        I hope for the Laws of Unintended Consequences, Murphy’s Law, Jungle Rules and some Bad Ju Ju catches up with them all.
        Would serve them right.

        Who cares about the press. Bunch of prostitutes. Spewing lies and disinformation for ratings which are only aired with the approval of the CEO. Screw them. Defenders of Liberty and the nation’s watch dogs, my ass.

      10. I suppose the devices controlling this country would rather not have the “citizens” determining that the money system is a swindle, meaningless pieces of iou debt.

        Never to have the” human resources” realizing we are all simply free range slaves working to pay off central banking by and through a corporate socialist government.

        Concluding tptb do not want their animals awake…

      11. TPTB are loosing the battle with the 2 Amendment, so now they are going after the 1St.
        Just another reason for a 2ND. Civil War that they are trying to start!

      12. It’s getting close to the time for shortwave news and an internet only for paying bills.

      13. Do the bare minimum that fuels the government. Starve it,look the other way,ignore it, act as if it doesn’t exist. If millions do that they collapse. Freedom requires work.

      14. You can thank Pres. Obama for helping to reverse the Boosh Administrations police state policy. No president is perfect, but Pres. Obama is trying to bring trust and respect back to the White House at least.

        • Ripinandatearin, if that post is sarcasm, OK. If not, PLEASE lay down the crack pipe.

        • WTF??????? You must have been dropped on your head repeatedly as a child!!!!

        • I am currently downloading this for my archives and for later viewing.

      15. So, I know Be Informed isn’t around anymore, but he always used to say to watch the Northern mid-Atlantic ridge for quakes that would affect the New Madrid fault, right? I don’t remember the exact location he said to watch out for, but there was a 7.1 on the northern mid-atlantic ridge a couple hours ago!

        Heads up maybe?

        • What happened to BI?

      16. This is exceptional and indispensable news. The standings in the race to irrelevancy. Soon gone, like that patriotic feeling in your guts after singing the national anthem. There are only fleeting glimpses now. Another generation of this and “poof”. We may have blown mans last chance for true freedom. The genie of the technocratic tyrant cannot be put back in a bottle. Yet they somehow still fear the collective if only a little. They are almost there. Soon people, soon. Use it or lose it. Somehow there must be a way. For once we reach the bottom of this list, it can only get better then, right? That feeling you have right now is tyranny overwhelming apathy. Here sit, it wont last long. Feel better, here take your vaccine, Nanny is here. You forgot to water the tree and now see what happened, silly boy. No shade for you.

      17. Every One should read the Overton Window by Glenn Beck.Even if you don’t like him its on the money.

      18. Freedom of information !

        Don’t you mean watered down lies that is about as good as an IOU from a zombie bank.

        Have no faith in the system, the system is broken and its like asking the MAFIA for information who might give you a more honest answer.

        Wikileaks is about as good as it gets these days.

      19. .

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