Chart of the Day: The State of Journalism in 2023

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Journalists sense turmoil in their industry amid continued passion for their work. 77% would choose their career all over again, though 57% are highly concerned about future restrictions on press freedom. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Let’s take a quick data tour of the state of journalism in 2023.

Where is the press the most and the least free? Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are the countries with the highest scores on this year’s World Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), with the first two scoring more than 90 points. While the top-ranked countries have changed somewhat compared to 2013, there’s a lot less movement in the bottom rungs, with one major exception.

While countries like North Korea, China, or Iran have always been among or around the bottom 20 in the past, the number of countries losing the classification of having “good” freedom of the press compared to around ten years ago is a cause for concern. In 2013, 25 countries scored between 85 and 100 index points, while in 2022, only eight qualified for this bracket.

See a summary in the chart below and learn more here.

Where are most journalists imprisoned? The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has hit a new record at 533, according to an annual report by press freedom watchdog, Reporters Without BordersThe total number is up from 2021 when 488 journalists were imprisoned. Of the imprisoned, just over 1/3 have actually been convicted of a crime, while the remaining 2/3 are being held without trial. In the chart below, see where most journalists are imprisoned worldwide.

Where are the deadliest countries for journalists in 2022? Reporters Without Borders (RWB) counts a total of 57 journalists and media workers that have been killed this year because of their job. Mexico tops the list at eleven, including eight killed in Ukraine. See this in the chart of the day and learn more here.

Which countries have journalistic freedoms? See a world map below where press freedom reigns or not – see more details here.

Do Americans feel that freedom of speech is at stake? This infographic below about freedom of speech was produced by The New York Times based on a national poll conducted from Feb. 9 to 22, 2022, by Siena College. The poll included 1,507 U.S. residents 18 or older.

The New York Times has not been a great proponent of free speech and integrity in journalism. However, on March 20, 2022, the New York Editorial Board asserted that free speech in the US is currently threatened by state laws on speech and the public’s cancel culture.

What is interesting about the above infographic is that almost all Americans agree regardless of age or political persuasion, free speech and integrity in journalism are under attack. However, are Americans ready to do anything about it?

Of course, much of the data presented here are from identified “professional”l journalism – especially by Reporters Without Borders. One should note that there are many independent and citizen journalists who most likely are suffering on top of what Reporters Without Borders are saying. Free speech and integrity in journalism are sliding down the slippery slope – leading America and the world into a very dark place.

See more Chart of the Day posts.

By Tom Williams

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