Free Press

US Drops 14 Spots in Ranking of Press Freedom

Crackdown on whistleblowers blamed

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The United States took a nasty drop in the World Press Freedom rankings, released on Wednesday by the media group Reporters Without Borders, falling 14 spots to the 46th best country for journalist freedoms. Of the 180 countries ranked, the home of the First Amendment now sits snuggled between Romania and Haiti.

The U.S.'s jump in last year's rankings was dismissed at the time as "deceptive progress," and true to form, America has fallen back down the list. The rankings report blame the U.S.'s drop on its wide-ranging crackdown on whistleblowers, particularly Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning (who got a the 35-year sentence for leaking documents), and the attempted 105-year sentence for Barrett Brown. To the American government, "The whistleblower is the enemy," the report writes. Similarly, the subpoena of Associated Press phone records contributed to that drastic drop.