Here’s an interesting little tidbit—Reporters Without Borders has just published its most recent Worldwide Press Freedom Index, and the Unites States has dropped to 53rd place, from 44th last year and from 17th in 2002, below a whole slew of developing countries. Just another example of the damage done by six years of the Bush administration.

According to Reporters Without Borders:

Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognize the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

The jailing of blogger Josh Wolf was a case in point.

Reporters Without Borders compiles its index by sending a questionnaire to partner organizations throughout the world, in which it lists 50 criteria for assessing press freedom and “the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible” for various violations against reporters, ranging from murder and imprisonment to harassment.

This organization also publishes an excellent Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents:

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