Most Americans instinctively would respond with a number one rating when asked which country in the entire world ranks loftier for Freedom of the Press.
Unfortunately, those Americans will be sadly disappointed to learn, barrels of ink do not flow as lucidly as they might think in the United States of America--in fact, placing at NUMBER 20 isn't even a solely owned position because it is shared with two others; Luxembourg and United Kingdom.
2009 rankings were released today by a Paris, France based organization, Reporters Without Borders, and the results should come as a wake-up call to those in America who think they are on top of a ladder looking down at those throughout the world who are denied this exclusive 'God-given freedom.' More likely, they might better view themselves as 'fools on the hill,' if attitudes are not adjusted when placing themselves on the world's playing field of emancipated essayist.
Belittlers of Scandinavian countries, usually mocked and scorned in America as being Socialist leaning, might be shocked to learn the object of their unwarranted scorn hold several of the top 10 positions for this honor--Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden amongst the top five.
Many critics will, and perhaps rightfully so, respond with,'consider the source.' And more so, criticism increases among right wing pundits when this organization elevated America's 'writers and reporters of the truth' from 36th under a Bush Administration to the current spot of 20th with Barack Obama at the helm.
In fact, using Reporters without Borders own figures and examples, most conservative American writers will probably retain U-S freedom of the press at the 36th position, or perhaps reduce it even lower. This in light of recent pieces of legislation floating around Congress, with emphasis on tighter controls over bloggers and the like, currently running freely and untouched (unregulated) around the Internet.
Be that as it may, Obiter Dictum--An American, will leave these Reporter Without Border statistics to speak for themselves, allowing readers an opportunity to form their own opinion on whether the United States press should still be rubbing shoulders with Nambia and Poland when pundits pick up their pens or, allowed to let the ink run freely with one-time enemies Japan and Germany, now considered more free than razor-tongued tribunes at the New York Times!