Being a journalist in the United States sure is hard: Our country is tied for #53, with Botswana, Croatia, and Tonga, on the Reporters Without Borders “Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2006.” Countries ahead of the United States–bastions of press freedom–include: Bolivia, Mozambique, Namibia, and Serbia. Here in America, anybody who questions the Bush administration is tossed in prison:
The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.
Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year.