In May of 2019, Reporters Without Borders released its 2019 World Press Freedom Index and for the first time in the history of the United States, the country’s press freedom was classed as “problematic.” This meant that the U.S. slid three places to 48th out of 180 countries in the global ranking – joining the category of problematic regions for press freedom.
According to the World Press Freedom Index, the score of a country is determined by the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), or Reports Without Borders (RWB). They are the world’s leading non-governmental organization in the defense and promotion of freedom of information. The scoring system comprises of five different categories from a good situation to a problematic situation to a very serious situation.
The current president of the United States, Donald Trump played a role in affecting press freedom according to the United Nations human rights leaders. It has been said that the president’s repeated attacks towards the press undermine press freedom and raise the risk of violence against journalists. So far, there have been a total of 14 journalists attacks, seven arrests, two leak cases, and a search and seizure of equipment in the U.S. The latest development has made the country a less safe place for journalists to perform their duties. While the U.S. slid three places with a score of 25.69, Norway is ranked the first for the third year in a row, and Turkmenistan is ranked at last in the list with a score of 85.44.