This World Map Shows Where Press Freedom Is Strongest And Weakest

FEB. 12, 2014, 12:34 PM

carte2014_enReporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders has published  its 2014 World Press Freedom Index, which measures the freedom of information and journalists in 160 countries around the world.

Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, followed by Netherlands and Norway. The United States fell 13 places to 46th for various reasons (here’s an interactive list of the rankings).

The organization describes countries at the bottom of the list — Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea — as “news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them.”

An interesting note: Edward Snowden told The Washington Post in May that he wanted to apply for asylum in Iceland or some other country “with strong Internet and press freedoms.”

The 2013 map of the global freedom of Internet is quite similar to the one for press.


Screen Shot 2014 02 12 at 12.29.58 PMFreedom House

Despite his stated aspirations, Snowden traveled from Hawaii to Hong Kong on May 20. As you can see, China is black on the Reporters Without Borders index.

The former NSA contractor then said that he wanted to go to Ecuador, Nicaragua, or Venezuela — and yet none of those places have “strong Internet and press freedoms,” according to the index.

Ultimately the 30-year-old American ended up in Russia, where a disturbing number of journalists have been killed while reporting.

snowden pathMike Nudelman/Michael Kelley/Business Insider

So, not only did Snowden take the most inefficient route from Hawaii to any country with Internet and press freedoms (even Latin America), the former CIA technician now literally lives in a country “where everything I do and say is recorded.”

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