The United States became notably less safe for journalists last year, according to the latest annual index of freedom of information by Reporters without Borders. Following the conviction and sentencing of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the monitoring of the Associated Press’s phone records, and speculation from elected officials about whether journalists could be charged with crimes for publishing information obtained from Edward Snowden, Reporters without Borders demoted the United States 13 places in its annual ranking. The organization also penalized Japan for passing a law that could constrain investigative journalism on national security and nuclear energy, and docked the United Kingdom after it comically insisted on the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives.
The organization’s index, shown in the map above, is based on surveys of journalists working in various countries as well as on data such as the number of journalists killed, jailed, arrested, or abducted. The situation in the United States is much better than in other parts of the world, where armed conflict, organized crime and political corruption can make the practice of journalism extremely dangerous. Reporters’ safety in Guatemala deteriorated severely in 2013, where four of them were killed. Click below for the complete report.