In­dia’s press free­dom rank­ing falls by two points

Governance Now - - BRIEFINGS -

in­dia’s rank­ing in the World Press Free­dom in­dex has come down to 138, two notches from the last year, says a re­port re­leased by global me­dia watch­dog re­porters With­out Bor­ders. Among 180 coun­tries mapped by the Paris-based re­porters sans Fron­tieres (rsf), in­dia scored 43.24 and stands at 138, down from last year’s 136, colour-coded in red high­light­ing the sit­u­a­tion as “dif­fi­cult”. In­dia’s rank is just one place above Pak­istan. The in­dex mea­sures the level of me­dia free­dom in 180 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 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. it men­tioned “hate speeches” and tar­get­ting of jour­nal­ists by trolls. “ever since naren­dra Modi be­came Prime Min­is­ter in 2014, Hindu fun­da­men­tal­ists have been re­fer­ring to jour­nal­ists in ex­tremely vi­o­lent terms,” the re­port said. “Any in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing that an­noys the rul­ing party or any crit­i­cism of Hin­dutva, elic­its a tor­rent of on­line insults and calls for the death the re­porter or writer re­spon­si­ble, most of it com­ing from the prime min­is­ter’s troll army.” it also cited the killing of jour­nal­ist gauri lankesh in 2017. Mean­while, nor­way is first for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, fol­lowed by sweden. rus­sia stands at 148th rank and China at 176th. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, a grow­ing animosity towards jour­nal­ists is among the worst threats to democ­ra­cies.

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