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Lands of liberty?

January 30, 2012
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Ahead of tomorrow’s Face to Face Conversation with journalists Kris Hundley and Kathleen Flynn of the Tampa Bay Times, please make sure you’ve read the F2F Handout in ANGEL Lessons, now in MSWord format to better enable linking.

And here’s a timely update: The nongovernmental organization (NGO) Reporters Without Borders last week issued its 2011-12 index of press freedom. Finland and Norway tied atop the list; Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea (dead last) were the least free places to be a journalist.

The U.S. dropped 27 places because of the government’s harsh treatment of journalists covering the Occupy protests. That left the U.S. tied in the ranking of press freedom for 47th place with Romania — which, just 23 years ago, was suffering under the brutal totalitarian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu — and Argentina — where, into the 1980s, dissidents were being routinely “disappeared” and which, until five years ago, had sent its soldiers to train at the U.S. DoD institution known as the School of Assassins.

India, where journalists Hundley and Flynn traveled to report on the deadly “Testing Grounds,” is No. 131 on the list for press freedom.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Geoffrey Stephens permalink
    January 30, 2012 4:35 pm

    I feel no matter what the issue of freedom, or what it pertains to it is all the same…or very similar. Yes, there are focal points such as the “index of press freedom” and the “school of assassins” pointed out here. But no matter what the case it always comes back to the same few things…1)money 2)power & control 3)OUR MINDS. Anything on planet earth having to do with humans and what actions they take can be linked back to a need/desire for money, or a form of power and control. No matter what level. If researched, it all leads back to these things mentioned.
    For example, the issue of The Index of the Press. Why are these rules against media & journalists in place? Simply put, I feel it’s a matter of controlling the information people know about. For what? So people are manipulated, a particular government or agency keeping hold of their power/control…which in turn brings money and more power/control back to them. This I see is why the imposed “harsh treatment” of journalists, and the public making a stand. It may start with a little pepper spray, or a few people “disappearing”…but what happens if journalists and people are getting closer to knowing the truth??? Then pepper spray, and harsh treatment of them isn’t working…people in power/control get concerned…and then come the things such as the “School of Assassins.” Simple math.
    The more places the US drops in the ranks, the more we are being controlled and told what to believe is real. This should scare us, and make us think differently. It’s often asked how someone can challenge these things, and there is one answer…OUR MINDS. Instead of fear and being controlled, I feel we need to see the geniuses that we ALL can be and already are. The answer to me is pure love and peace. One can say the #’s against this are too much to handle, but I feel it starts with each one of us. Nothing is easy to do or take on. But just like there being no business for something there’s no market for, if we begin believing otherwise, and in ourselves…there is no “market” for fear, concern, worry, etc. the “business” of people in control getting what they want is gone. There is means for a world to be united and an understanding of each other through pure love.

  2. Anica Colbert permalink
    January 30, 2012 5:42 pm

    Stephens, I think you kinda ran off the road with that reply .__. I don’t know where you got to concluding that the answer to the harsh treatment of journalists is peace and love on earth,(I mean, Amen brother, but if it was possible I think we’d all would’ve done it by now), but let me reiterate what I think you were trying to hit with what you…typed up and posted, minus the ‘I have a solution for this’. Frankly, I’ve no idea how to fix a world that makes corruption of politics and government legal if you can pay for it.,

    The topic is how America’s freedom of the press has declined (now backed with the numbers and sources provided in Kenney’s post), and I’ll put it, it has been on a major decline since the 1930’s, but most notably that decline took it’s sharpest downturn after the 70’s, and has been spiraling downward ever sense.

    Frankly, I could put the blame on the new position of American Journalism, on one man. Rupert Murdoch. And mind you there’s only one other man in the world that makes him look at all like a saint – being Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News. So, horn head #2 in this world, Murdoch got this wonderful idea to buy up all of the world’s news, and so far, he’s been kinda successful. I won’t research all the numbers right now (you can re-read the intro to the class textbook for that), but to put it shortly:

    Newsroom are being consolidated, and most of the news in America is owned by a man who pretty much hates Journalists and Journalism. As there’s less newsroom, and so many journalists have been laid off, investigative Journalism, is being choked to death by the invisible hand of capitalism. without that crucial investigative Journalism, the definition of “Newsworthy” has changed, in America alone.

    As Ian Hangreaves puts in his book, ‘Journalism: A very Short Introduction’ (2005):

    “The new media owners, say the concerned journalists, are deflecting journalism from its sacred mission to inform citizens without fear and favour, pandering instead to the appetites of shareholders for quarter-on-quarter profits growth.” (pg.5)

    So, to conclude, “The harsh Treatment of the Occupy Protestors”. You’d think – why would a capitalist want THEIR press telling the rest of the country to back protestors that are standing against everything they are? It’s no surprise that media in both Britain and America demonized the Occupy Protestors as unAmerican, and lazy bums that are just too lazy and stupid to get a job. They, like the penal system, punished the lower classes, with complete disregard for the causes. The treatment the press gave the Occupy movement, fits into Murdoch’s interests, AND budget.

    The government doesn’t have to impose on the media, capitalists had their own plan for them.

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