Last updated: October 27, 2008 - 9:07pm
[Commentary] The United States of America -- land of the free, home of the First Amendment -- is supposed to be a beacon for the rest of the world. So where do we stand in the latest global rankings of press freedom? Thirty-sixth. That's not a typo. It's a national disgrace. The Press Freedom Index released last week by Reporters Without Borders reflects both the freedoms journalists enjoy as well as the "efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom." The annual rankings examine the way that financial pressures lead to self-censorship in the press, government abuses of the press, as well as murders, imprisonment and physical abuse of journalists. As we enter a new year and a new administration, America's 36th-place finish is a clarion call for us to take a hard look at how we are meeting the information needs of our communities and upholding the values of the Constitution.
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