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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index 357

schwit1 writes "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 U.S. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania."
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

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  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @02:51PM (#46269137) Homepage

    Free nation! Under God! Best thing since apple pie.

    The US has really fallen from its optimistic condition so many decades ago. And that failure is not the worst thing about it. It's the fact that no one in the US seems to care.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @03:08PM (#46269291)

    The last true great work of independent journalistic investigationn was the Watergate affair. Since then, so-called journalists have been repeating the government's party line verbatim, or reporting on trivial shit that doesn't matter.

    If anything, the Snowden documents, which should have been a bomb for the government, have never been exploited, and show that the 4th power is the lapdog of the 3 first, and has been for a very long time.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @03:29PM (#46269505)
    A good number of Americans think we need to give up rights to fight cultists with box-cutters and pipe bombs, rights we didn't need to give up in the face of real national security threats. But I don't think that's the whole story here. The cold war was going on, our enemies ACTUALLY had real weapons worth considering, Nixon resigned.

    I suspect one issue is the economy, and the other is a changing media. Democracies can't really function when too many people are too financially stressed, it fits that people wouldn't take threats to the freedom of the press as seriously if they're worried about losing the house. Most of the people with brains or who care have stopped watching cable news and newspapers are dying, so the audiences for the media are dumber and more easily controlled.

    I'm not as convinced as many people are that the sky is falling, so I suspect the economy will eventually improve. I also suspect that when the change in media matures, perhaps when kids who now get their news online start being less apathetic, and when the fox news crowd dies, that we -might- demand better.

    TLDR: I think it's more complicated than everyone collectively saying "Fuck it, I don't care about democracy, I'm going to go tweet something."
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @03:39PM (#46269617) Journal

    Go look at the actual 3D data map on the site, you'll find that the US is nearly indistinguishable from basically every other 1st world Western Eurpoean-Centric nation. When you see the difference between the "top plateau" and "everyone else" it becomes pretty clear that there really is nothing to see here.

  • by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @03:46PM (#46269697)

    We need to turn our fake democracy into a real one, where our voice is actually being listened to.
    And I believe us "nerds" can actually make this happen.

    What we need is a moderated forum (perhaps like Slashdot) integrated into congress, and MCs being required to spend at least X hours per day on this forum answering questions. The moderation system has to be designed by academics, such that the system prevents abuse and unjustified censoring by design.

    Also, we need a better voting system (since uneducated people ruin democracy, e.g., by being susceptible to populist sentiment).
    Perhaps something along the lines of PageRank, where each voter selects N random people he/she trusts, and from the gigantic graph that results we can derive mathematically the outcome of the election. Of course, here also academics are needed to design the system and prevent abuse.

  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @05:03PM (#46270293)

    Racist bigots (for affiliating with "Tea Party Extremists" when they only want a balanced budget and reasonable cuts to defense and wasteful spending).

    Your quote in there makes it seem like the tea part is not extreme, but they are, very extreme....

    Gun zealots when they stand up for their right to bear arm

    Gun zealots are the people who support things like stand your ground, or castle laws that put human life behind property

    Selfish jerks for wanting wasteful social spending cuts on the poor that seems to be fine with using SNAP funds for booze, etc. (Yes, they're a minority, but a substantial one.)

    And who in the process hurt more non abusers of the system than abusers, or waste even more money (FL drug testing scheme).

    Intolerant bigots for wanting to worship who or what they may - and want laws reflecting their beliefs (as long as they don't conflict with basic civil rights - and I don't mean the ever expansion of civil rights to include every minority created by individuals for their own benefit.)

    There is never a good middle ground when you allow people to force their beliefs on others, and most dont care if they conflict with civil rights (gay marriage, abortion, suicide and drugs) as long as they get what they want...

    Ignorant racists for questioning this administration.

    Most of the time it is for something other than just questioning, unless it was just questioning because he is black

    Ignorant terrorist supporters for questioning the last administration.

    Cant really think of this one.. To be honest I have never heard it directly

    The groups described above are generally either directly assaulted by (or blatantly marketed to) elements in the press because they think for themselves - and whether they're right or wrong, they're - well - dangerous...

    Most of these people dont think for themselves, in general, they are mostly herd mentalities

  • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @06:16PM (#46270939)

    Racism absolutely does exist (amongst ALL races). Hell - there are racist black people that not only hate white people but hate darker-skinned blacks.

    Also, the people that identify themselves as "Tea Party" types are NOT all racists. I consider myself one who is really worried about the horrible, annual federal deficit and out of control social programs, so I align with those Tea Party principles. That does NOT make me a racist. If anything, I want the government to balance its books just so they can actually CONTINUE the social programs, and to not balance the budget would eventually have the government default and kill the social programs, which would harm poor minorities than any idiot burning a cross in a Mississippi lawn today.

    That racist stereotype is ridiculous, yet it is perpetuated by many.

  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @02:46AM (#46273865)

    Well since much of the "news" is from recycled AP reports -- the "Netizens" like Bradley Manning are releasing information that might have come from someone labelled a "Journalist" a few decades ago.

    Now it's pay for play access and reporters and politicians want to go to the same parties after work is done.

    We even get our news on Slashdot these days -- are there reporters here?

    So yes, arresting Bradley Manning, and going after the founder of Wikileaks in my book is suppressing freedom of the press -- the REAL press, not the advertiser driven gossip columns.

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