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Freedom of the press in the United States has improved under the Obama administration, but in Europe, Israel, and in many countries around the world reporters are having a tougher time doing their jobs.
The report issued by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is positive for the U.S., however, the issue of national security, seems to be one of the biggest problems for United States reporters seeking information from the government.
But that pales when you compare the problems Mexican reporters have in covering the news, especially in the border areas with the United States.
Reporter Angela Kocherga gave this first hand report: "Mexico is one of the most dangerous places to work as a reporter these days, we see that by the ranking and see that played out in the field. Now the Majority of the murders go unsolved. The investigations go nowhere. That includes the killings of reporters. A year ago a police reporter was killed in his driveway picking up his daughter, taking her to school. That case remains unsolved and the investigator who was looking into it was murdered this Summer," he said.
Kocherga reports more than 1,800 murders this year by the drug cartels in Cuidad Juarez alone. Kocherga said the killings have a chilling effect on news coverage.
Reporter Ali Alnaemi, former New York Times staffer in Baghdad says reporter freedom has improved in Iraq, but still has a long way to go. "The government has to realize that the media is not their enemies, they should cooperate, but with the kind of corruption you have, a kind of competition between political parties, I think it's going to last for some time before we have media in Iraq that is an integrated part of the community," he said.
The Washington Director of Reporters Without Borders, Clothilde Le Coze, reports that European countries are restricting Freedom of the Press, especially on the internet. "France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, they all went down in the ranking. Not only because of the physical assaults journalists are victims of and there are more and more victims of physical assaults in those countries. But also because these countries are really adopting and passing laws that are dangerous for freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Le Coze said.
Which countries are the best toward press freedom? RWB says all the Scandinavian countries plus Ireland, but Iran, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are the worst.