7.1: Press Freedom in the United States and the World
Journalists and citizens have faced restrictions on the Freedom of the Press throughout United States history. Freedom of the Press is considered one of the most important American rights. Yet according to the World Press Freedom Index, the United States ranks 45th among 180 countries in terms of press freedom.
Explore the interactive "Press Freedoms Around the World" lesson by Checkology (News Literacy Project) to learn more about the freedom of the press on a global scale.
In this activity, you will act as an expert advisor tasked with helping the U.S. improve its World Press Freedom Index ranking.
Activity: Improve the United State's World Press Freedom Ranking
- Read through the ratings on the World Press Freedom website to critically analyze why the U.S. received its ranking.
- Evaluate the U.S. in comparison to other countries, particularly those above and below it on the list.
- Note the different factors mentioned in the rankings that determine what makes the press more or less “free.”
- Provide a list of 3-4 recommendations for how the U.S. can rise in the rankings, making sure to cite examples from other countries you found during your research.
- Publish your recommendations in an infographic on Canva, a Public Service Announcement video or podcast, or a social media post to be viewed by the public.
- Make sure the design clearly and effectively communicates your message.
- Share what you created with the class and compare and contrast the different recommendations you all contributed.
- ACLU Freedom of Press Resources
- Empowering Independent Press (Center for International Media Assistance)
- World Press Freedom Index
- Facing History
- Project Censored: The News That Didn't Make the News
Connecting to the eBook
Connecting to the Standards
- Massachusetts Civics & Government Standards
- Explain why freedom of the press was included as a right in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in Article 16 of the Massachusetts Constitution; explain that freedom of the press means the right to express and publish views on politics and other topics without government sponsorship, oversight, control or censorship. (Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Studies) [8.T7.1]
- ISTE Standards
- Knowledge Constructor
- 3a: Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
- 3d: Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
- Creative Communicator
- 6a: Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
- 6b: Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
- 6d: Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for the intended audiences.
- Knowledge Constructor
- DLCS Standards
- Digital Tools (DTC.a)
- Collaboration and Communication (DTC.b)
- Research (DTC.c)
- English Language Arts > History/Social Studies Common Core Standards