Reporters Without Borders has released its latest World Press Freedom Index. The group called journalism the main vaccine against misinformation. However, that vaccine is not getting through in many parts of the world.
The organization said journalism is totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries and constrained in 59 others, which together represent 73% of the countries evaluated.
The top ranked countries for press freedom are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Costa Rica.
The United States ranked 44th on the list.
The report said the index data reflect “a dramatic deterioration in people's access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage,” with the COVID-19 pandemic frequently used as an excuse to block access to information.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.