World Press Freedom Index, 2022

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World Press Freedom Index, 2022

Recently ‘World Press Freedom Index’, 2022 has been published by “Reporters Without Borders”. This is the 20th edition so far.

This index was released on the occasion of ‘World Press Freedom Day’ on 3 May.

The report points to a two-fold increase in ‘media polarisation’.

Keep in mind that ‘media polarization’ creates divisions within countries and between countries internationally.

About ‘World Press Freedom Index’:

  • Every year since 2002, the ‘World Press Freedom Index’ is published by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders.
  • Based in Paris, Reporters sans frontiers is an independent NGO, and has advisory status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the European Council and the International Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
  • The index ranks countries and territories according to the level of freedom available to journalists. However, it is not an indicator of the ‘quality of journalism’.
  • The scores for each country or region are calculated using five relevant indicators – political context, legal framework, economic context, socio-cultural context and security.

Performance of India and other countries in the index:

  • In the report for the year 2022, India has slipped 8 places in the list of 180 countries from 142nd to 150th.
  • Norway (1st), Denmark (2nd), Sweden (3rd) have been ranked in the ‘World Press Freedom Index’. In this list of 180 countries, ‘North Korea’ ranks at the bottom.
  • Among India’s neighbors, Nepal is ranked 76th in the global rankings, followed by Pakistan at 157th, Sri Lanka at 146th, Bangladesh at 162nd and Myanmar at 176th. While China has been placed at 175th position in the index.

Reasons for India’s poor performance

  • According to the report, India’s ranking has fallen due to “violence against journalists” and “politically partisan media”. Because of this, press freedom has reached a state of “crisis” in the world’s largest democracy.
  • Among nations that are becoming more democratic, India’s media faces pressure from “increasingly authoritarian and/or nationalist governments”.
  • The report blames India’s policy framework, which is supposed to provide security in principle, and use defamation, sedition, contempt of court against journalists who criticize the government as “anti-national”, and takes recourse to charges like ‘threat to national security’.

‘World Press Freedom Day’:

  • World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 after it was recommended by the General Assembly of UNESCO in the year 1991.
  • The day also marks the adoption of the ‘Windhoek Declaration’, 1991 by UNESCO.
  • Its objective is to ‘develop a free, independent and pluralistic press’.

Source – The Hindu

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