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Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals

Journalism is seriously restricted in 132 of 180 countries included in Reporters without Borders' annual Press Freedom Index — a particularly dangerous state of affairs during the pandemic.

Breaking it down: Nordic countries are ranked high on the list for having "good" press freedoms, while China, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom. The U.S. is ranked 44th.

The trends:

  • Brazil has fallen into the second lowest category amid a campaign of "orchestrated public humiliation of journalists" by allies of President Jair Bolsonaro. Malaysia fell even further due to a new “anti-fake news” decree.
  • Burundi, Sierra Leone and Mali saw some of the largest improvements.
  • The worst region for press freedom remains the Middle East and North Africa.

View the full report

Go deeper

"CONVICTED": Front pages around the world capture Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

Newspapers around the country and world led their front pages on Wednesday morning with news of the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

Why it matters: It underscores the global nature of the movement that Floyd's tragic killing last year inspired, with newspapers in Mexico, Jamaica and the United Kingdom among those that covered the high-stakes proceedings at a Minneapolis courthouse.

Apr 21, 2021 - World

South Korean president: Trump "beat around the bush and failed" on North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking in Seoul in March 2021. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized former President Trump's attempts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, telling the New York Times he "beat around the bush" with North Korea and "failed to pull it through."

Why it matters: Moon, now in his final year in office, called denuclearization a "matter of survival" for South Korea and urged President Biden to resume negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after a standstill of nearly two years.

Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.