Read this article in Spanish here.

Freedom of expression is a basic human right and the founding value of ROOSTERGNN. In this Special Series, ROOSTERGNN explores the state of freedom of expression around the world. Follow the complete series here.

Following the success of the inaugural Education Series, ROOSTERGNN publishes a new Special Series focused on freedom of expression. As the founding value of ROOSTERGNN itself, freedom of expression is an issue that concerns each and every one of us – whether we are political journalists fighting to expose atrocities or civilians posting our opinions on the Internet, it is a fundamental human right.

Free speech was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1948, in Article 19 of the International Declaration of Human Rights. Without casting any legal obligation, the declaration sought to set a “common standard of achievement for all people and all nations” and to “promote respect for these rights and freedoms… to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.” Over 65 years later, technology has advanced, political thought has modernized, ideas that were once radical or outlandish are widely accepted, yet countries which claim to be defenders of free speech and expression continue to withhold and restrict this essential democratic right.

Whilst estimating the degrees of freedom of expression in individual countries can be a difficult task, there are numerous factors that can be considered. Last year, 211 journalists were jailed worldwide under charges such as bribery, possession of drugs, possession of firearms and inciting religious hatred, to name a few. Numerous cases of the journalists being tortured under questioning were also reported. Facebook is banned in ten countries worldwide, including China, Cuba, and Pakistan. Over 300 companies in 38 countries world-wide are developing surveillance technology to sell to authoritarian dictatorships, allowing them to access individual computers or intercept mass communication.

journalists, prison, graphic, worldwide

Journalists in Prison | Reporters Without Borders

Where are journalists imprisoned throughout the world? ROOSTERGNN, citing data from Reports Without Borders’ Journalists Imprisoned Study, breaks down the 31 countries that hosted jails with journalists from January to July 2014. China tops this list at 30 journalists imprisoned.

press freedom, graphic, reporters

Press Freedom Index | Reporters Without Borders


How has freedom of the press changed over the past 10 years? ROOSTERGNN compares Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index reports from 2004 and 2014. The countries are ordered by their average score from the two years; a higher index signifies lower press freedom.  

Some people of the world feel safe and protected in their democratic societies and others feel constantly at risk of punishment for publically – or privately – expressing their views. For both metaphorical hemispheres there are countless issues to be recognized and serious progress for which to fight.

In this Special Series, ROOSTERGNN publishes articles by and interviews with experts, academics and journalists, as well as multimedia creations from international artists. From country-specific analyses to discussions on globally relevant problems, the series examines the true state of freedom of expression in today’s society. All articles will be available in English and Spanish. 

Follow the complete series here.