On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) i.e. on May 3, 2022, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its 20th World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2022 stating a fall in India’s press freedom ranking to 150th with a score of 41 in the 2022 from 142nd in 2021 out of 180 countries.
- The list has been topped by Norway (1st) with a score of 92.65 and followed by Denmark (2nd), Sweden (3rd) Estonia (4th) and Finland (5th).
- North Korea remained at the bottom of the list(i.e.180th Rank).
- WPFD 2022 was observed on the theme ‘Journalism under digital siege’. Click Here to Read
- The Index score is evaluated using five contextual indicators that reflect the press freedom situation in all of its complexity viz.Political Indicator, Economic Indicator, Legislative Indiactor, Social Indicator, Security Indicator.
Key Highlights with respect to India:
In Political Indicator India is ranked at 145 with the score of 40.76 ; In Economic Indicator, India is ranked at 149 with the score of 30.36; In Legislative Indicator india is ranked at 120 with the score of 57.02; In Social Indicator, India is ranked at 127 with the score of 56.25; In Security Indicator, India is ranked at 163 with the score of 20.61.
i.The rank of India’s neighbours, except Nepal, have also declined in 2022. Now, Pakistan is placed at 157th position, Sri Lanka (146th), Bangladesh (162nd) and Myanmar at (176th) position.
- Bhutan is best in the region with a score of 76.46 at the 33rd position.
- Nepal has climbed up by 30 points in the global ranking at 76th position from 106th in 2021.
ii.A report titled ‘India: Media freedom under threat’ on RSF website urged Indian authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and release any journalists detained on politically motivated charges for their critical reporting.
iii.India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media. As per the report, Indian press used to be fairly progressive but things changed radically in the mid-2010s.
- An average of three to four journalists is killed in connection with their work every year.
- Journalists are exposed to all kinds of physical violence, and deadly reprisals by criminal groups of corrupt local officials.
Table Showing Top 5 Countries in WPFI 2022:
The Index is a snapshot of the situation in the 180 countries during the calendar year (January-December) prior to its publication. It highlights the disastrous effects of news and information chaos, of globalised and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.
It is also premised upon two components:
- Quantitative tally of abuses against journalists in connection with their work, and against media outlets;
- Qualitative analysis of the situation in each country based on the responses of press freedom specialists to an RSF questionnaire available in 23 languages.
Recent Related News:
i.According to Knight Frank’s 16th edition of The Wealth Report 2022, the number of ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs) globally increased by 9.3 percent in 2021 to 6,10,569, from 5,58,828 in 2020. India ranked 3rd in billionaire population globally. United States (US) Tops with most billionaire.
ii.According to the Swedish based V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute report titled, ‘Democracy Report 2022: Autocratisation Changing Nature’, India has been ranked among the top ten autocratic countries in the world and has been ranked 93rd on the Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) out of 179 countries.
About Reporters Without Borders (RSF):
Secretary-General– Christophe Deloire
Headquarters– Paris, France