On today’s program, the first of a two-part series discussing press freedom and how journalists operate in different parts of the world.

To start, we’re going to take a look at a couple of countries that have a fairly good reputation for how they treat the press – at least in comparison with their regional neighbors. Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East and reporters there have much more latitude to cover the news than they do in nearby Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

That said, independent journalists there still face many restrictions. Journalists who “undermine the dignity” of King Abdullah II can face criminal prosecution, and those who “denigrate the government or religion” can be fined the equivalent of $40,000.

Meanwhile India has the most vibrant national press in South Asia, and its media has a proud history of exposing corruption and government wrongdoing. But under the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the climate for the news media has steadily worsened, according to press freedom groups.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, a look at press freedom in the two countries with journalists visiting the U.S. on fellowships from the Alfred Friendly Press Partners.

Joining the program:

    • Farah Ajlouni, an anchor and correspondent for English-language newscasts in Jordan
    • Samarth Bansal, a data and investigative reporter for the Hindustan Times in India

Producer: Rachel Foster-Gimbel