2017 World Press Freedom Index

This 2017 World Press Freedom Index interactive also includes:

Freedom of the press was seen as a right so important that the Founding Fathers listed it as part of the first amendment to the United States Constitution. Americans pride themselves on this freedom, but just how free are American journalists? The World Press Freedom Index measures the degree of freedom afforded to journalists around the world. The United States ranks 43rd out of 180 countries in the 2017 world rankings. A quality resource from Reporters without Borders prompts class members to find out how the rating is determined.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Before showing class members the rankings, provide them with a list of 15 countries, including the United States, and have them rank these countries in terms of journalistic freedom
  • Have groups investigate how owners of media outlets and sponsors of programs can influence what is reported and how stories are reported
  • Use the resource as part of a lesson on World Press Freedom Day
Classroom Considerations

  • The rankings do not consider the quality of the journalism nor consider governmental policies; they are determined by an evaluation of factors such as the independence of the media and the safety of the journalist in the country
Pros

  • The map is color-coded to indicate the rankings of the word's countries
  • The resource also includes information about the methodology used to create the rankings, a details index, and an archive of previous rankings
Cons

  • None