I’ve always wondered why so many of my political posts get few responses, even though I supposedly have thousands of “friends” on Facebook. This is not just a FB algorithm phenomenon, but an aspect of mass media culture in which real news is ignored while vapid celebrities & ruthless billionaires are worshipped.
Perfect example: I have been lobbying major corporate, progressive ,and public media to cover the fact that the #US dropped to 45th in ranking on the 2023 #WorldPressFreedomIndex compiled by #ReportersWithoutBorders.
#MedeaBenjamin of #CodePink was arrested while protesting at the event at which the new rankings were announced, but all the major media outlets and networks I contacted (including senior editors at The Nation) refuse to report on this information.
The #USA ranking in press freedom has declined steadily since 2002, when we were ranked 17th, but the only media outlets that will allow me to report on this story have been: Truthout, Jeff Santos Show, Democracy Watch News North America, The Seattle Star, & the Thom Hartmann program.
Probably the most-censored news story of our times, and major media will not even mention our declining ranking! They do not want to embarrass themselves or undermine their own credibility by admitting that we lag far behind many European nations in press freedom. #CostaRica, #Namibia, and #Zambia have more freedom of the press and more protections for journalists.
Kudos to the editors at #Truthout for working diligently with me to publish the uncomfortable truth. To find out why our nation’s ranking has been declining, see my article reprinted at their website:
The only member of the U.S. Congress who even commented officially on the declining US ranking in press freedom was #PramilaJayapal, whom I briefed on this issue. I submitted a question about the decline of U.S. press freedom to Reporters Without Borders to ask our Secretary of State at their event in Washington, D.C. where he was the keynote speaker, but he did not respond. The U.S. loves to condemn other countries for challenges to democratic processes, but refuses to examine or criticize itself.
Fortunately, I was able to present information on this topic at a major international journalism conference at The Hague sponsored by #UNESCO. I also lobbied the #UnitedNation’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression (Irene Khan) about the U.S. decline in ranking, and she brought it up during President Biden’s #SummitForDemocracy sessions.
When I asked a political friend in the U.S. why our media and elected representatives/gov’t. officials, such as Sec of State #AnthonyBlinken, ignore the loss of press freedom and the gutting or elimination of many newsrooms in the U.S., she told me that #democracy is not “sexy”.
Politicians are unaware or disinterested in the decline in our country’s ranking in terms of press freedom on the World Press Freedom Index.
Apparently, reporting on press freedom doesn’t sell newspapers or improve ratings or the bottom line of major news agencies and media networks.
Reporters Without Borders Report on U.S. Press Freedom: https://rsf.org/en/country/united-states
World Press Freedom Index: https://rsf.org/en/index
Irene Kahn U.N. Special Rapporteur: https://www.ohchr.org/…/sr-freedom-of…/ms-irene-khan
Here are the media outlets who have actually covered this important story: