2015 World Press Freedom Index

The news is grim from Reporters Without Borders which has just published its annual index on press freedom around the world, 2015 World Press Freedom Index.     rwb

The findings are “incontestable. 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.”

Data for the 180 countries includes an Abuses score, an Underlying situation score, and an Overall score.  Each country’s variance in rank and overall score from the previous year, 2014, is also indicated. Besides this charted data, the Index provides a narrative as well, pointing out the most striking developments in the year, overarching themes, and insight on how press freedom correlates with other country indicators.

 

October CommQuote

This month’s quote comes from Index on Censorship (Volume 43, Number 03; Autumn 2014) which features a special section on the future of journalism.  The lead piece, Back to the Future, by Iona Craig proffers cautionary insight on surveillance technologies and journalistic freedom.

“Governments going after journalists is nothing new. But what is increasingly apparent is that those listening and watching when we work in countries infamous for their consistent stifling of freedom of speech and obstruction of a free press, are often doing so with the infrastructure, equipment or direct support of supposedly ‘liberal’ Western nations…home_cover (2)

Until encrypted mobile phone communication becomes more affordable and commonplace, we may have to go back in time–meeting in person rather than leaving a data trail.”

–Iona Craig, Back to the Future, Index on Censorship, 43:3, pp. 11, 12