Finland tops the index for the fifth year running, followed by Norway and Denmark. The United States fell 16 notches to 49th for two main reasons:
- 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.
- 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.
The report names describes the worst performing nations — Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea — as “news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them.”
Significantly, the map of press freedom looks a lot like the 2014 map of the global freedom of Internet:
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