Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Newseum Press Freedom Map is a Good Shaming Tool

The Newseum in Washington, D.C. has a fascinating map of world press freedom. Green countries have a free press, yellow are partly free, and red countries control their press. The calculations are made by Freedom House, and the tiles that make up the map are changed annually.

The press freedom map shows how unusual our press freedoms are. The map is also an effective tool for shaming the yellow countries into loosening up. For example, Israel moved back from yellow to green this year when it lifted government restrictions on reporting from Gaza.

10 comments:

Rachel said...

Wow, South America is quite surprising!

Gruntled said...

This picture obscures the fact that Chile and Argentina do have a free press. The semi-surprise was the red for Venezuela. I knew things were bad there, but I didn't know they were that bad.on

philly said...

Very surprised at your semi surprise.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that almost all of the green countries are western nations.

Quick...someone notify Michael Moore!!

Anonymous said...

Also, one can't help but observe that the middle east and most of Africa is a sea of red, except for a tiny green speck which is Israel.

How about shaming the red middle eastern countries to loosen their death grip on the press and their own people?

Gruntled said...

The Newseum was asked about the effect of the map. They said the dictators were unaffected, but the yellow countries wished to be thought better than that, so could be nudged to improve.

Anonymous said...

Venezuela's National Assembly has voted to approve a request by President Hugo Chavez to allow him to enact laws by decree for one year.

Gruntled said...

Sigh. On the other hand, I have hopes that as soon as the Castros die and we lift the silly embargo, we will get Cuba back.

Whit said...

Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, etc. are shown as green, but recent events in all those places shows that criticism of Islam has become somewhat of an exception to free speech. Even here, the recent GZM controversy, and the near universal condemnation of Koran burning (in a place where flag burning or Bible burning would hardly be noticed) casts some doubt on our commitment to free expression.

Even if shaming dictators has little effect on them, the act of standing up for our principles and making the attempt helps us understand why our system is better and why tyrants must be resisted. It also encourages dissidents in those countries.

But Gruntled, really. Chavez is a Marxist. What could you have possibly expected? And as for Cuba, it's more than the Castros. The rest of the Marxists have to go, and the property stolen in the Revolution returned to its rightful owners.

RS Gold said...
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