Extra, Extra, Read All About It

This past week, I was in Washington D.C., for a national conference. Not only was I meeting people from all around the U.S. at this conference, but I was also exploring D.C. and submersing myself into new cultures, food and experiences. My favorite experience was by far my trip to the Newseum. As a journalism major, it was mind blowing to see how publications and journalists have impacted our history as well as how they will impact our future.

As I moved from exhibit to exhibit, I came across a huge map. Different countries were colored in green, yellow and red. As I moved closer, I noticed that the green areas practiced free press, the yellow areas had limited free press and the red areas had no free press. I stood there shocked by how many areas did not have free press. Mind blown and speechless, I began to study each area.

As expected, the U.S. was covered in green. Most other parts of the world did not even have any green, let alone an entire IMG_6181country with free press. As I glanced over to Europe, this area was mostly green as well. My eyes continued to shift to the Middle East, which was covered mostly in red. Then, I noticed Israel – a green speck amongst a sea of red. I had no idea Israel had free press, and that this was so rare in the Middle East.

As it turns out, Israel’s Supreme Court fights to keep free speech, another one of America’s five freedoms in the First Amendment. They believe that it is the “lifeline of democracy.” In my opinion, in order to have freedom of press, there must be freedom of speech. How can a journalist publish something if they’re not allowed to say it? Freedom of speech definitely helps Israel to achieve the green marking on this map.

Since Israel is faced with ongoing conflicts, their stories are subject to military sensor. This may not sound 100 percent free to you, which is why Israel is ranked at 29 out o 100 for free press. An area does not turn yellow until it is ranked 30 or lower.

Compared to every other area in the Middle East, Israel has something unique and priceless. They have the ability to write what is true and what they believe. This is a freedom that, as a journalist, I cannot imagine life without. Although it is a struggle for them to keep free press, with all of their surrounding boarders in yellow or red, it’s important that Israel continues to practice freedom of the press.

As stated by Christopher Dodd, “when the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.”

Sources: Newseum, The Warner World News Gallery, Freedom of Speech, Dissent, and Political Activity, Freedom House


7 thoughts on “Extra, Extra, Read All About It

  1. I had no idea that Israel had free press either! Unfortunately I rarely think about free press and I think this comes along with how common it is throughout the United States that I never think of it as an issue. I take for granted just how much freedom we do have opposed to other countries. We are so lucky to have free press to be able to obtain the diverse voices of the people in our media.

  2. I had no idea that they had free press! I really thought all of their news was censored and journalists could not write about anything they wanted. It is nice to know other countries besides the United States have free press.

  3. It is cool to see a country practice free press while being surrounded by countries that don’t have the same freedom. I also think its cool because of the day to day conflict that Israel has been in with Palestine for quite some time.

  4. After reading this article I can definitely say it opened my eyes a lot. I agree, freedom of speech is not something that crosses my mind everyday simply because I am so used to it being a way of life for me. This article reassured me that it is not this way for many other places in the world and for that I am much more thankful. I think it is something important and is a freedom everyone should have and to see how hard it is worked for makes me appreciate this aspect of my life.

  5. Really a bummer to see that much red area in the Middle East. The organization I wrote about earlier for our research paper was the Center for Freedom of Journalists, and while these places are red right now, the CFJ and other movements are slowly but surely bringing free speech to these places

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