Reporters Without Borders has issued its annual global press freedom index. Finland, The Netherlands and Norway led the list. Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are the bottom three. The United States dropped 13 spots to 46 and the U.K. three spots to 33, primarily due to surveillance issues. The media watchdog warned that countries are interpreting security needs in an excessively broad manner.
The Committee to Protect Journalist has released a series of reports today as part of its annual risk assessment on the conditions for journalism worldwide. It noted in 2013 several deteriorating situations, including fatalities and censorship in Egypt, restrictive legislation in Ecuador, Russia, Vietnam, Liberal and Zambia, firings and forced resignations in Turkey, targeted violence in Bangladesh and Russia, abductions in Syria, and crackdowns on online journalism in Russia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. In all eight volumes chronicle the situation.
Derek Thompson, writing for The Atlantic, examines Facebook's impact on the news. He notes that social media are sending far more page views to sites than are search engines and that, in Facebook's case, is isn't necessarily news but evocative content that succeeds with users.