New Delhi: India’s ranking in the 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has plummeted to 150 from 142 last year. RSF published the World Press Freedom Index on Tuesday, assessing the state of journalism in 180 countries.
World Press Freedom Day is observed every year on May 3. The World Press Freedom Index highlights the degree of freedom that journalists and news organisations have in each country.
In the 2021 report, India was ranked 142 among 180 nations and listed under countries considered “bad” for journalism and among the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.
“Originally a product of the anti-colonial movement, the Indian press used to be seen as fairly progressive but things changed radically in the mid-2010s,” the RSF report said.
The report also mentioned that more than 100,000 newspapers (including 36,000 weeklies) and 380 TV news channels were operating in India.
According to the report, currently, 13 journalists are behind the bars and one journalist was killed since January 1.
“With an average of three or four journalists killed in connection with their work every year, India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media. Journalists are exposed to all kinds of physical violence, including police violence, ambushes by political activists, and deadly reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt local officials,” the report said.
On safety of journalists, the RSF report said that terrifying coordinated campaigns of hatred and calls for murder are conducted on social media.
“Such campaigns are often even more violent when they target women journalists, whose personal data may be posted online as an additional incitement to violence,” the report said.
According to the report, three Nordic countries secured the top three positions, with Norway at first place followed by Denmark and Sweden. On the other hand, the countries below the press freedom index include nations such as China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Myanmar.