India’s position on the World Press Freedom Index
India’s ranking in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index has fallen to 150 out of 180 countries, according to the latest report released by the global media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The top three positions for countries with the highest press freedom were taken by the Nordic trio of Norway (a score of 92.65), Denmark (90.27) and Sweden (88.84).
What is RSF and what’s the objective of this Index?
- International NGO- RSF is an international NGO whose selfproclaimed aim is to defend and promote media freedom. Headquartered in Paris, it has consultative status with the United Nations.
- Objective- The objective of the World Press Freedom Index, which it releases every year, “is to compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media in 180 countries and territories” in the previous calendar year.
- Definition of Press Freedom- The RSF defines press freedom as “the ability of journalists as individuals and collectives to select, produce, and disseminate news in the public interest independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference and in the absence of threats to their physical and mental safety.”
What are the findings with regard to world press freedom?
- Increase in Polarisation- In terms of global trends, the report flags a “twofold increase in polarisation amplified by information chaos — that is, media polarisation fuelling divisions within countries, as well as polarisation between countries at the international level.”
- Divisions in Democratic societies- It notes that “within democratic societies, divisions are growing” due to the spread of “opinion media” modelled on Fox News, and the rise of “disinformation circuits” amplified by how social media functions.
- Ranking- The top three positions for countries with the highest press freedom were taken by the Nordic trio of Norway (a score of 92.65), Denmark (90.27) and Sweden (88.84).The world’s 10 worst countries for press freedom include Myanmar (176th), China (175), Turkmenistan (177th), Iran (178th), Eritrea (179th) and North Korea (180th).