The World Press Freedom Index 2021 has been released by the media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
- Norway topped the index for the fifth year in a row.
- The report labelled 132 countries as “very bad”, “bad” or “problematic”.
- It stated that the pandemic was used as means to deny journalists this access and promote government sponsored propaganda regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.
Performance of India and neighbours:
- India remained at the 142nd position among 180 countries.
- India was ranked in the “bad” category, along with Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
- The report says India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their job properly.
- In 2016, India’s rank was 133, which has steadily climbed down to 142 in 2020.
- India drew flak for “extremely violent social media hate campaigns” against journalists who “dare to criticise” the government.
About World Press Freedom Index:
- Published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries.
- It is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists.
- It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region.
- It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts all over the world. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.
Sources: the Hindu.