World Press Freedom: Behind the trends

View: Why Should We Care About Press Freedom? followed by "World Press Freedom Day 2013 Journalists Killed" animation. Then choose one or more of these bundles of questions for class discussion:

Flashlight: How many hits do the press freedom videos have? Think of a YouTube video you and your friends recently watched. How many hits did that have? Is there a difference? Why? Look at the media coverage of World Press Freedom: does it deserve the level of attention it gets? Why? If a change is needed, what do you suggest?

Spotlight: UNESCO asked experts three questions: What were the biggest changes in press freedom in the last 20 years? What are the biggest challenges to safety of journalists today? What will be the big issues in press freedom in the next 10 to 20 years? Class discussion: How do you answer those questions?

Searchlight: Tracking freedom is complex. Those who try include Reporters Without Borders, IREX, and Freedom House. The reports differ. For example, in 2012, the United States was ranked 24th by Freedom House, whereas it was ranked 47th by Reporters Without Borders. Why? Do the groups use different criteria? If they do, how do you explain the research that has found the measures are often similar?

Assignment for extra credit: Choose a country at random and compare how each organization ranks its freedom. Read the full report and in-depth discussion of your country. Do some independent research and find articles supporting its ranking. Also, find research in and beyond each organization’s report about digital and social media and discuss with classmates how that would influence an overall measure of freedom.