US press freedom improves; Israel, Iran worse-survey

NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Press freedom has improved in the United States in the last year and the country jumped 20 places to No. 20 on a 2009 international ranking by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released on Tuesday.

The media watchdog said the assumption of the presidency by Barack Obama in January brought a new approach in Washington after eight years under President George W. Bush, while some European countries fell in the group’s Press Freedom Index.

It expressed concerns about U.S. attitudes toward the media in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it said journalists had been injured or arrested by the U.S. military.

“President Obama may have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but his country is still fighting two wars,” the group said. “Despite a slight improvement, the attitude of the United States towards the media in Iraq and Afghanistan is worrying.”


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