Freedom of the press is guaranteed in the United States Constitution. However, Reporters Without Borders claims that press freedom in America is on the decline. In their just-released annual report, the United States ranks just 48th for freedom of the press.
This low ranking puts the United States in the “problematic” category, alongside Botswana and Romania. Just one in four countries secured a good or satisfactory rating. Reporters Without Borders claims that there is an intense climate of fear among the press community across the globe.
Reporters Without Borders noted that freedom of the press in the U.S. has been on the decline for the past few years. The group also directly called out President Trump, arguing that in his first year in office he had unfairly attacked the press, frequently labeling mainstream media sources as “fake news.”
The report also claims that five journalists were arrested while another 10 were attacked in the U.S. alone. Six journalists had also been stopped and questioned at the border. Reporters Without Borders tracks individual developments as well, for example, alleging that Pastor Hope Carpenter threatened Greenville News while giving a sermon at a South Carolina church.
Unsurprisingly, Saudi Arabia fell three spots as well, ranking just 172 out of 180. Saudi government agents have been accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Turkey. Despite promising reform, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) has come under fire for allegedly increasing repression.
For the third consecutive year, Norway claimed the top spot. Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all rank in the top five, giving Scandinavia a sterling record as far as press freedom is concerned.