The United States was ranked 41st, up from 49th last year, while Russia’s placement rose from 152nd in 2015 to 148th this year.
Incidents of governments physically impeding access to media outlets increased by 16 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to the group’s “infrastructure” indicator. That includes governments blocking Internet access and destroying broadcast equipment and printing presses.
Other tools increasingly being used by governments to impede independent reporting include laws forbidding, for example, “insulting the president” or “supporting terrorism,” the group said.
“Growing self-censorship is the knock-on effect of this alarming situation,” it said.
How does a country with “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” baked into its Constitution end up ranked down in the 40s?
Or maybe the question is old news, even to members of our White House Press Corps.