“In an era of increasing authoritarianism and swirling misinformation,” the New York Times began its account of yesterday’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement, “Maria Ressa and Dmitri A. Muratov, who lead independent news outlets in the Philippines and Russia, were honored for their work to hold leaders to account.”
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Countries Ranked According to Press Freedoms: Some context for Friday’s announcement from Oslo is provided in the World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders. Click HERE for it.
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How does the United States stack up internationally in press freedoms? One way to measure is to look at where this country ranks among member nations of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
According to Reporters Without Borders (also known by its French name Reporters sans frontières), the United States currently ranks 12th among the original 12 member nations of NATO in press freedoms, and 20th among the 30 current NATO members.
Here are the names of the original NATO members, with their global World Press Freedom Index rankings in parenthesis: Norway (1), Denmark (4), the Netherlands (6), Portugal (9), Belgium (11), Canada (14), Iceland (16), Luxembourg (20), United Kingdom (33), France (34), Italy (41), United States (44).
Here is the complete list of current NATO member nations with the 2021 global ranking of each: Norway (1), Denmark (4), the Netherlands (6), Portugal (9), Belgium (11), Germany (13), Canada (14), Estonia (15), Iceland (16), Luxembourg (20), Latvia (22), Lithuania (28), Spain (29), United Kingdom (33), France (34), Slovakia (35), Slovenia (36), Czech Republic (40), Italy (41), United States (44), Romania (48), Croatia (56), Poland (64), Greece (70), Albania (83), North Macedonia (90), Hungary (92), Montenegro (104), Bulgaria (112), Turkey (153).
There are currently 27 member states in the European Union. Their 2021 press freedoms rankings are as follows: Finland (2), Sweden (3), Denmark (4), Netherlands (6), Portugal (9), Belgium (11), Ireland (12), Germany (13), Estonia (15), Austria (17), Luxembourg (20), Latvia (22), Cyprus (26), Lithuania (28), Spain (29), Italy (41), France (34), Czechia (40), Romania (48), Slovakia (35), Slovenia (36), Croatia (56), Poland (64), Greece (70), Malta (81), Hungary (94), Bulgaria (112).
Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization. It describes its advocacy as founded on the belief that everyone requires access to the news and information, in line with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
— Mark Channing Miller