The United States ranked 41st in global press freedom by an international journalist advocacy group in an annual list released on Wednesday.
Reporters Without Borders claimed that, despite being enshrined in the Constitution, freedom of the press “has encountered a major obstacle” in the U.S. due to “the government’s war on whistleblowers.”
Reporters Without Borders also chided the U.S. for not establishing a federal “shield law” protecting journalists from having to reveal their sources.
The ranking was actually an eight-spot improvement over 2015, when the U.S. came in 49th in the world.
The Obama administration has been harshly criticized by press freedom advocates for an intensified crackdown on government officials who knowingly leak information to the press. Since President Obama entered office in 2009, his administration has used a 1917 anti-espionage law against leakers more than all other administrations combined.