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Bad News for Press Freedom Around the World

You can buy a newspaper nearly everywhere, or read news stories on your phone. Getting news is easy; however, journalists are finding it harder and harder to report it.

An independent organization called Freedom House has issued a new report about journalists and press freedom around the world. Vanessa Tucker of Freedom House says journalists are increasingly put in jail, accused of crimes or threatened until they stay silent.

“Unfortunately, the news is very bad. Press freedom suffered a global decline in 2014. It is the worst decline in a decade. Things are getting bad and they are getting bad even faster than they have in the past.”

The Freedom House report is called Freedom of the Press 2015. The report calls the press in Latin America only partly free, or not free at all. It says North America has a free press; however, it criticizes police in the United States for treating journalists harshly during protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Freedom House says 5 percent of the population in Asia-Pacific has access to free media, 3 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, and only 2 percent in the Middle East and North Africa.

China’s score was the worst since the 1990s. The report says officials there are jailing journalists and tightening control over media outlets.

And in Russia, Vanessa Tucker of Freedom House says officials campaigned strongly against independent voices last year. As a result, she says, people in Russia do not know what is really happening in conflicts like in Ukraine.

Freedom House says growing threats to the media challenge democratic values around the globe.

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

Meredith Buel reported this story. Kelly Jean Kelly adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

journalistsn. people who collect, write, and edit news stories

press n. newspapers, magazines, and radio and television news reports

independentadj. not controlled by other people

values n. strongly held beliefs about what is valuable, important or acceptable

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