World Press Freedom Day

Today is UNESCO World Press Freedom Day.  The Newseaum in Washington, D.C. is the location of a series of events on the subject.

Earlier this morning, Freedom House released its annual press freedom rankings, which are part of a permanent exhibit here in the Newseaum.  The news was not good. Here’s a picture I snapped of the new press freedom map.

As you can probably guess, Green  = More Free; Red = Not Free; Yellow = Partly Free.  From Freedom House:

Freedom of the Press 2011 identifies the greatest threats to independent media in 196 countries and territories. Released on May 2 as part of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebration in Washington, D.C., the report shows that global media freedom has reached a new low point, contributing to an environment in which only one in every six people live in countries with a Free press. In 2010, there were particularly worrisome trends in the Middle East and the Americas, while improvements were noted in sub-Saharan Africa

There are two days of panel discussions on media freedom, new media, and taking risks to speak truth to power. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova is on hand, as are several high profile figures in international media. You can see a program of events here and follow most of the panels via live screen. If you are in DC, you can even stop by. The whole thing is open to the public.