The United States credit score is not the only rating that has recently taken a beating. While the United States criticized countries in the Middle East for attempting to censor the press and infringing on the freedom of the press, at home journalists covering the Occupy movement have been targeted by law enforcement and arrested. The Occupy movement has aimed to expose the injustice of corporate greed, but ultimately has exposed the lack of freedom in the press. The United States’ fell 27 spots on the Press Freedom Index for 2011–2012. Reporter’s Without Borders ranked 47th on the latest index.
In the land of the free, journalists should not fear being targeted by law enforcement when doing their job. The crackdown on journalists covering the Occupy movement is yet one more example of why it is so important to begin the conversation that will ultimately move the world forward and allow us to keep our cherished freedoms. It is important as citizens to understand that our freedoms are not guaranteed, and we only have as much freedom as we are willing to fight for. As a nation, we owe it to ourselves to fight for our freedoms. I am not an activist or career protestor, but I am an American citizen who enjoys freedom. There is a responsibility that rests with each of us to continue the conversation that has emerged from Zuccotti Park.