Sham World Press Freedom Index

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Sham World Press Freedom Index

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Published annually by Reporters Without Borders, RSF calls its index “an important advocacy tool, ranking 180 nations according to the level of freedom available to journalists,” adding:

It’s a “snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism (sic), independence of the media (sic), quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country (sic).”

Index rankings are compiled from “responses of (unnamed) experts (sic) (and) in-house specialists (sic), each assigned to a different geographical region, keep(ing) a detailed tally of abuses and violence against journalists and media outlets (sic).”

“These researchers also rely on a network of (establishment) correspondents in 130 countries” – independent truth-telling ones excluded.

Here’s what RSF omits in its reports. Its funding sources include the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), campaigning against it wherever it exists.

The NED/USAID funded neocon Center for a Free Cuba, wanting fascist tyranny replacing its government, providing vital social benefits to all its people free of charge also funds RSF.

So do the EU, the Canadian NED equivalent Rights & Democracy, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, and other hardline organizations against peace, equity and justice.

RSF’s annual index is a pro-Western propaganda tool, not a legitimate ranking of global press freedom.

Its rankings of key countries bear no relation to reality. Press freedom in the West is pure fantasy, except through alternative sources.

Its major media stick to the official narrative exclusively, suppressing hard truths on vital issues. Yet Western countries are highly rated in the latest RSF index – 15 in the top 30, 20 in the top 50. None deserve to be there.

Deplorable US media rank 48th, Israel 88th. Both should be low-rated. US enemies are lowly ranked, including Palestinian media 137th, Venezuela 148th, Russia 149th, Cuba 169th, Iran 170th, Syria 174th, China 177th, and North Korea 179th.

Repressive Burkino Faso, Papua New Guinea, Botswana, Tonga, Senegal, Chile, Guyana, Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Georgia, Niger, Tunisia, Kosovo, Panama, El Salvador, Albania, Peru, Ecuador, Kenya, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Colombia, Uganda, the UAE, Ukraine, and many others rank ahead of US enemies.

I’m interviewed often on Iranian and Russian media, including Sputnik News, Channel One in Moscow, Russia 1, and NTV.

Cuba’s press freedom is consistently ignored. Article 53 of its Constitution before revised stated “citizens have freedom of speech and of the press in keeping with the objectives of socialist society.”

The new Constitution recognizes press freedom in conformity to the laws of the land for the purpose of serving society. The means of communication are the “socialist property of all the people or of political, social and mass organizations.”

In 2002, when Jimmy Carter visited Fidel Castro, his address to the Cuban people was broadcast in its entirety, Carter afterwards saying:

“That evening at the University of Havana I made a speech and then answered questions that, as promised, was carried live on television and radio.” 

“It was later rebroadcast, and the entire transcript was published in the two Cuban newspapers. Subsequently, we could not find anyone on the streets or in the markets who had not heard it.”

Americans endure fantasy democracy, police state injustice, governance of, by, and for the nation’s privileged few alone, mass surveillance, increasing online and other censorship, along with farcical elections when held – hallmarks of totalitarian rule.

Fidel Castro transformed Cuba from a US-controlled fascist dictatorship to a nation safe and fit to live in, providing all Cubans with free healthcare, free education to the highest levels, and other vital social services most Americans can’t imagine.

Bolivarian Venezuela operates the same way, why Trump regime hardliners want its government toppled – to eliminate a good example and get their dirty hands on Venezuela’s oil and other valued resources.

US major media serve as press agents for wealth, power, and privilege – in lockstep with Washington’s rage for global dominance, including endless wars of aggression against nations unwilling to bend to its will.

Yet its deplorable media are ranked in the top 50 worldwide – instead of low-ranked for long ago abandoning journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.