Current Affairs

World Press Freedom Index Report

The annual World Press Freedom Index report was recently published by the RSF (Reporters Without Borders).
World Press Freedom Index Report
  • India’s ranking in the Press Freedom Index has fallen two places to 138.
  • Norway topped the list of having the world’s freest press for the second year in a row.
  • Overall, the 2018 report concludes, global press freedom is in a worse state than it was last year and a record number of countries this year have been classified as having "very bad" freedom of the press.

Background

  • The World Press Freedom Index report is being published annually since 2002. The World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries. It measures the level of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legal framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

Key facts

  • According to the index, journalists face more hatred than last year, not only in authoritarian countries but also increasingly in countries with democratically elected leaders.
  • This year's report mentioned that more and more democratically-elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential element.
  • For instance, the United States, the country with the First Amendment (which among other things prevents US Congress from abridging the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press) fell from rank 43 last year to rank 45.
  • India has dropped from rank 136 to rank 138.
  • The report mentioned sharing of "hate speeches" targeting journalists by "troll armies" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a reason for this low rank.
  • The report also mentioned "physical violence" against journalists is largely responsible for India’s low ranking. At least three journalists were murdered in connection with their work.
  • China’s ranking remained unchanged at 175th position for the second year.
  • North Korea is at the bottom of the list, just below Eritrea and Turkmenistan.
  • The Gambia has seen the biggest improvement in press freedom, rising 21 spots to 122, followed by South Korea and Greece, which rose to 20 and 14 places respectively. 
  • The report also analysed press freedom in five regions, with the Middle East and North Africa region being the worst for journalists.

World Press Freedom Index Report – Top 10 countries

1. Norway
2. Sweden
3. Netherlands
4. Finland
5. Switzerland
6. Jamaica
7. Belgium
8. New Zealand
9. Denmark
10. Costa Rica
World Press Freedom Index Report World Press Freedom Index Report Reviewed by Shweta Kashyap on April 27, 2018 Rating: 5

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