Tomorrow might be St. Patricks day, and scores of people will be wrapping up their weekend-long libations in orderly fashion, but today marks an equally if not more important day for citizens of the entire globe: Freedom of Information Day.
In a year where headlines ran emboldened with names such as Edward Snowden and various details of NSA probings on Americans through all the popular communication systems of the day, the holiday seems more important to be known about than ever.
Reporters Without Borders published its 2014 World Press Freedom Index, measuring the freedom of information and journalist capabilities for 160 countries throughout the globe. Of the countries leading the world in info-access, Finland tops the list for the fourth year in a row, followed by its neighbors in Norway, and the Netherlands. The United States however, dropped 13 spots to 46th.
The reasons for the US’s decline may be obvious with the daily revelations of new governmental overreaching as stated previously, but fascinatingly enough, the UK’s sensational attempts over the past year to criminalize The Guardian reporters only led itself to dropping three spots.
As for the countries at the bottom of the list, Reporters Without Borders deems them as “news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them”.
These countries include the usual suspects in China, Syria, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and also lesser known offenders such as Sudan, Eritrea, and even Jordan.
In conclusion, awareness of the matter should beg the question: How are we better able to hone our freedom to information, in an age where entertainment and sensationalization dominates what’s demanded, rather than the hard need-to-know facts?
Below is a map provided by the organization, illustrating the information graphically.
-Curt Cramer (@CurtisRemarc)