World Press Freedom Index 2021
About the Index
- Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index evaluates the press freedom situation in countries across the globe.
- RSF is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information.
- The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
Why in News?
- Reporters Without Borders has released its World Press Freedom Index 2021.
Highlights of the report
- The 2021 report shows that journalism, the main vaccine against disinformation, is completely or partly blocked in 73% of the 180 countries ranked by the organisation.
- Only 12 of the Index’s 180 countries (7%) can claim to offer a favourable environment for journalism.
- Norway topped the latest index followed by Finland and Denmark, while Eritrea is at the bottom. China is ranked 177, and is only above North Korea at 179 and Turkmenistan at 178.
- In the South Asian neighbourhood, Nepal is at 106, Sri Lanka at 127, Myanmar (before the coup) at 140, Pakistan at 145 and Bangladesh at 152.
- The 2021 Index has again ranked India at 142nd out of 180 countries. This is despite the fact that for a year, on directions from Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, an index monitoring cell worked to improve the rankings.
- India is ranked 142, same as last year, after it had consistently slid down from 133 in 2016.
- The report stated that India shares the “bad” classification with Brazil, Mexico and Russia. According to the report, India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their job properly. They are exposed to every kind of attack, even police violence against reporters, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials.
- In February last year, fearing such an adverse assessment, the cell was set up in 18 Ministries to find ways to improve the position on 32 international indices.
- The Information and Broadcasting Ministry was delegated to look at the freedom of press index.
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