Mass Media & American Society – Week of 9/8

Press Freedom around the world

THE READING & ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE ON WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17

You’ve read about the First Amendment right to a free press in the United States, as well as the tension that arises when the government tries to balance the public’s security with a free press. The United States is a democracy,with guaranteed freedoms, and the balance of power between the press and the government is continually criticized and evaluated. Interestingly, the United States fell 14 places in the 2014 Reporters without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, primarily due to the U.S. government seeking to bolster national security through silencing whistleblowers and the sources of leaks, as well as tapping into private phone records. The Freedom House wrote an interesting blog, call from “Ferguson to Cairo,” about how the rest of the world is watching the U.S. as it handles Ferguson.

However, in much of the world, especially in war-torn Middle East, there is little, if any press freedoms. The political climate also makes it extremely dangerous to freely report about the government and its opposition.

ASSIGNMENT: For this lesson, read the following articles, explore the websites for Reporters without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Then, choose a country and research its press freedom, its issues and incidents. Write a one- to two-page report on this country’s press freedoms. This is due on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Read the following articles:

New York Times: Journalists becoming targets

Browse Committee to Protect Journalists, and choose one of its videos to watch on the  Multimedia tab. Please let me know which one you chose – Pakistan, China, Syria, etc.

Browse Reporters without Borders, including the World Press Freedom Index 2014

After reading the above articles, choose a country to write your report on. You can gather information from the Newseum World Press Freedom Map;  the World Press Freedom Map from 2012, and the two websites above.

 

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