Rulers in the Middle East doesn't have a monopoly on the power in "knowledge is power" to themselves. In fact, the McClatchy article says that some Arab countries have little or no filtering:
I'm no believer in the idea that everyone should have access to all information: online child pornography is, for the most part, illegal in America, and I don't have much of a problem with that. I even think that restricting access to details of troop deployments in wartime is debatably proper.
Reporters without Borders (RWB) gives a global look at how will journalists think they're being treated. RWB's "Predators of Press Freedom" is a sort of rogue's gallery of leaders with an aversion to their subjects getting facts on their own.
RWB is a Paris-based organization with an international flavor, and names to match.
- French: Reporters sans frontières
- Spanish: Reporteros Sin Fronteras, or RSF
- German: Reporter ohne Grenzen or ROG
- Freedom of expression Organizations partnered with RWB
- Correspondents in RWB's network
- Human rights activists
- "Questionnaire for compiling a 2007 world press freedom index" to compile the report
- "How the index was compiled"
- "During this time, how many journalists and media assistants: ... 6. Were personally threatened?" I remember the days leading up to a Miller Brewing Company executive getting fired for talking about a "Seinfeld" episode to a colleague of the opposite sex (or should that be 'non-identical gender?'). The threshold of being "threatened" has gotten pretty low at times.
- "Over the period, was/were there (yes/no): ...Restricted physical or reporting access to any regions of the country (official ban, strict official control etc)?" I think I know what RWB means, but what if a reporter was offended because she wasn't allowed to take photos in part of Peterson Air Force Base?
- "Over the period, was/were there (yes/no): ...Routine self-censorship in the privately-owned media? Give this a score from 0 (no self-censorship) to 5 (strong self-censorship)?" This has the same problems of interpretation as being "threatened." Again, living in a country where hypersensitivity is close to becoming a right may be coloring my perceptions.