Reporters Without Borders has released its annual Press Freedom Index, and Canada sits at number 13 this year. Aside from New Zealand and Canada, the first 20 positions were held by European countries.
Iceland tops the list, followed by Luxembourg and Norway, while the U.S. was at number 26 (tied with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan).
Reporters Without Borders states:
“The United States rose eight places to 36th position. Although the absence of a federal “shield law” means the confidentiality of sources is still threatened by federal courts, the number of journalists being subpoenaed or forced to reveal their sources has declined in recent months and none has been sent to prison. But the August 2007 murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in Oakland, California, is still unpunished a year later. The way the investigation into his murder has become enmeshed in local conflicts of interest and the lack of federal judicial intervention also help to explain why the United States did not get a higher ranking.The release of Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj after six years in the Guantanamo Bay military base contributed to this improvement…Account was also taken of the many arrests of journalists during the Democratic and Republican conventions.”