I’m fascinated by the media. I have been and continue to be a consumer, albeit in a more selective manner now than ever before. I have been a contributor of both advertising and editorial content. I am fascinated and appalled. Fascinated and appalled enough to be drawn into the train wreck that is the Brian Williams fiasco. Appalled by the notion that the likely most accurately researched news programs are hosted by comedians. In 2004, I wrote my unique perspective of the newspaper business and Trinidad’s ranking on the World Press Freedoms index. Since that time we have continued to endure malfeasance from the purveyors of our news and both Trinidad and the United States have slid down on the index.
Trinidad currently sits 41st with a score of 22.39, sandwiched between Samoa and Botswana while the United States sits 49th with a score of 24.41. The score puts both countries on the low side of the ‘satisfactory situation’ benchmark. Just for reference here are the categories and scores in context.
From 0 to 15 points: Good situation
From 15.01 to 25 points: Satisfactory situation
From 25.01 to 35 points: Noticeable problems
35,01 – 55 points: Difficult situation
55,01 – 100 points: Very serious situation
Although the index does not measure the quality of the media, some the variables they grade on like pluralism and media independence should give pause to any country clawing up from the bottom of the satisfactory category. Find the index and methodology here.