World Press Freedom Index

A depressing report from the folks at Reporters without Borders.  It contains all the data undergirding the index,  which lets you dig into the specifics.  We are probably (Canadians and Americans) thinking we have nothing to envy in other nations, in terms of press freedom, but the methodology suggests no -- we don't even crack the top ten.

The way I look at it is ... an open society cannot function without press/media freedom -- including full freedom to report without the need to 'obey government authorities.'  The most striking case for me is that of Turkey. It has a few insane-seeming laws that are based on the old concept of lèse-majesté  (roughly, this means 'wound/injury [of/to] majesty' from the Latin laesa majestas).

In the Turkish system, any criticism of the President, the State, or Turkishness can be criminalized. As the RWB report indicates, this has the effect of making Erdogan the arbiter of what can and cannot be said about him, his policies, and the nation ... this is also the basis of the sad and disgusting extension of "terror" laws in Saudi Arabia, which nation is ... near the bottom of the index.


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