India still has the ‘bad’ classification in the World Press Freedom Index, falls behind Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal

India still has the ‘bad’ classification in the World Press Freedom Index, falls behind Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal
India hasn’t performed any better in the World Press Freedom Index and has fallen behind its peers, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and NepalBCCL
  • The World Press Freedom Index 2021, which determines the liberty given to the press in a country, was recently released by Reporters Without Borders.
  • India has the 142nd rank of the 180 countries surveyed by the organisation and continues to fall in the ‘bad’ classification.
  • The report showed that journalism is “totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries and constrained in 59 others,” India being one of them.
The World Press Freedom Index 2021, which determines the liberty given to the media and press in a country, was released by Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday. India has the 142nd rank of the 180 countries surveyed by the organisation and continues to fall in the ‘bad’ classification.

The report showed that journalism is “totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries and constrained in 59 others,” India being one of them.

India’s ranking remains the same as it did the year before, as the Indian government faced criticism again in the report for stifling voices. The report also called out the trolls, who are mostly supporters of the country’s ruling party the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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“While the pro-government media pump out a form of propaganda, journalists who dare to criticise the government are branded as “anti-state,” “anti-national” or even “pro-terrorist” by supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This exposes them to public condemnation in the form of extremely violent social media hate campaigns that include calls for them to be killed, especially if they are women,” said the report.

In the Asia Pacific region, India fell even behind Myanmar, which ranked 140, Sri Lanka (127th) and Nepal, which climbed six spots to 106th. In fact, Myanmar’s press freedom has been seriously questioned, especially after the military coup in the country in February 2021 as per the report.

But countries in Europe and the US continue to hold a fairly good position in the index. The US ranked 44th in the list.

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Here’s a look at the top five countries for freedom of press:
NorwayRank 1
FinlandRank 2
Sweden Rank 3
Denmark Rank 4
Costa RicaRank 5

“This year, only 12 of the Index’s 180 countries (7%) can claim to offer a favourable environment for journalism, as opposed to 13 countries (8%) last year,” said the report.

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