Every year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) publishes their World Press Freedom Index, which ranks every country in the world using the following six criteria: pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. This chart lists the ten best and worst places to be a journalist today. The time-lapse maps below tell a more complicated story.
Some Turkish journalists' unions have harshly criticized the beheading of US journalist James Foley, who had been missing since 2012, by the “Islamic State” (IS) on Tuesday and expressed concern for the Turkish citizens who have been held captive by the terrorist organization since June.
Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has ruled the country since 2002, and there has been widespread controversy over press freedom in the country, with many doubting that such a freedom even exists. As a matter of fact, the US-based watchdog Freedom House's “Freedom of the Press 2014” report has downgraded Turkey from the category of “partly free” to “not free” because of what the institution called “the worsening media freedom situation.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised greater media freedom. So, why are so many journalists in prison and the overall rights situation deteriorating? One year after President Hassan Rouhani took office, on August 4, 2013, with a popular mandate to bring change, journalism and media freedoms are in a state of disarray.
We no longer have to rely solely on reports from a handful of mainstream media outlets when news breaks in places like Ukraine or Gaza, and while that has made the news environment more chaotic it has also led to some significant benefits for journalism.