Press Freedom in the United States and the World

Freedom of the Press is essential for democratic government to function. People need unblocked access to free and truthful information on which to make informed decisions about candidates and policies. In this activity, you act as an expert media advisor tasked with helping the U.S. improve its World Press Freedom Index ranking.

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.

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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.

Activity: Improve the United State's World Press Freedom Ranking

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

Improve the United State's World Press Freedom Ranking by Elayna Imbrogna (Laney)

Additional Resources:  

Connecting to the Building Democracy for All eBook

Building Democracy for All: Notable Freedom of the Press Court Cases

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.
  • DLCS Standards
    • Digital Tools (DTC.a)
    • Collaboration and Communication (DTC.b)
    • Research (DTC.c)
  • English Language Arts > History/Social Studies Common Core Standards
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7

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