Monday, January 30, 2012

Press Freedom: We're Number 47!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Jim Hightower's piece which reported on a German foundation's analysis of the social justice records of all 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which concluded that, based on "such categories as health care, income inequality, pre-school education, and child poverty," the United States came in 27th. 

The news isn't better when it comes to our government's respect for a free press.  Reporters Without Borders, in their annual Press Freedom Index, dropped the United States from 20th in 2011, to a three-way tie for 47th with Argentina and Romania this year.

The report made clear that the United States "owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests."  This is sadly not surprising given, as Jack Mirkinson writes in Huffington Post, how well documented the treatment of journalists by the police has been in 2011: "Reporters were beaten, arrested and prevented from covering police action against Occupy protesters. Tensions heightened so much that the New York Police Department had to meet with journalists and remind its officers not to mistreat them."

Hightower noted that "our bottom-of-the-heap ranking in social justice confirms the economic and political inequality that the Occupy movement is protesting."  But, Laurence Lewis states at Daily Kos, while "the Occupy Movement has changed the conversation in this country . . . those who don't want it changed are scared."


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