Reading the Irish Times, this morning, I was thrilled to read a news item reported by Christine Newman headlined "Ireland best for freedom of press ...."
Ireland tied the top position with Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands.
Other positions to note are
USA 53 (was 17th place during Clinton administration)
North Korea 168 (bottom)
Ireland, with a population of only around 5 million does still support a surprising number of daily, evening, regional and local newspapers, but it has not caught onto blogging like some of the rest of the world, especially the USA and UK. Maybe it does not feel the need to. A surprising amount of space is still allocated in Irish newspapers for public letters and comment.
Getting into a blog reading routine has remarkable benefits. I know I pay much more attention to this than reading the Irish Times or Irish Independent. From my own My Yahoo, a very easy blog and news reader to set up its wonderful to be able to expose myself to the news on subjects I wish to read about. Its censorship by the reader rather than by those who fear what others may read. Just put keywords related to your interest into your My Yahoo and you'll soon subscribe to a bunch of resources that become the morning headlines that you would like to read about.
I publish Google ads, Amazon ads and others with my blogs to support the cost of my work and even they are presented as headlines that readers can choose to explore or ignore. Its not "in your face". Again, a wonderful reader freedom.
Before newspapers, in Ireland and Britain, we had bards and there were the more formal town criers too. Intriguing to think of news being carried in song and poetry. Its also interesting to think that most bards were not censored by death but by handsome payments of land and cattle, if they kept quiet about certain things.
Today the harpers and bards are re-enactments and fantasy entertainers that are merely censored by an individual choice of not being in their audience.
The freedom to write and freedom to read should also carry the appreciation of the freedom and resources of being able to learn to read and write, so today I am thinking of and appreciating the dedication of the people in my childhood who taught me these skills that I can now enjoy with the freedoms of what to write and what to read.
The freedom of what to read can also have an incredible power over what others write. Here's hoping that your choice of reading is focused on what brings light to your life from solutions on how to do things to words that inspire, heal, make you laugh and move you forward in your wisdom.
A world of responsible reader censorship, if feel, could be the most powerful world healer and a simple routine for doing this in your life is to make your blog reader your daily reading routine more than your newspaper. Soon, I can see newspapers flowing along with blogs. In fact, they are starting to do so.