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India dropped to 78 in latest Freedom of the press 2014

May 2, 2014 16:26 IST

India dropped to 78 in the latest Freedom of the press 2014. Press freedom score of India declined by a point to 39 and dropped it in the list of countries with partially free media. In 2013 Index, the rank of India was 20 with 38 points.

Sweden topped the list and belongs to the world's most independent press.

The world's eight worst-rated countries remain Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Highlights of the Global Findings

•    Of the 197 countries and territories assessed during 2013, a total of 63 (32 percent) were rated Free, 68 (35 percent) were rated Partly Free, and 66 (33 percent) were rated Not Free.
•    All regions except sub-Saharan Africa, whose average score leveled off, showed declines, with the Middle East and North Africa suffering the worst deterioration.
•    Triggers for country declines included governments’ overt attempts to control the news—whether through the physical harassment of journalists covering protest movements or other sensitive stories, restrictions on foreign reporters, or tightened constraints on online news outlets and social media—as well as the role of owners in shaping media content through directives on coverage or dismissals of outspoken journalists.
•    Country improvements were largely driven by three factors: a growing ability of private firms to operate television and radio outlets; greater access to a variety of views via online media, social media, and international outlets; and improved respect for legal protections for the press.
•    China and Russia maintained a tight grip on local media while also attempting to control the more independent views provided either in the blogosphere or by foreign news sources.
•    China's score stood at 84, Pakistan 64 and Sri Lanka 76. China, rated Not Free, continued to crack down on online speech, particularly on microblogs, and also ramped up pressure on foreign journalists.
•    Press freedom deteriorated in Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and several Pacific Island states, including Nauru, which was downgraded to Partly Free.
•    Meanwhile, 44 percent of the world population lived in areas where the media was not free and 42 percent in places where press was partly free, around 63 countries (32%) were rated free.

imageAbout Freedom of the press 2014

Total 197 countries were assessed for the index 2014. Each country received a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free) on the basis of combined scores from three subcategories: the legal environment, political environment and the economic environment.

For each category, a lower number of points is allotted for a more free situation, while a higher number of points is allotted for a less free environment.

The report by Freedom House was conducting annual surveys since 1980. It found that the share of the world’s population with media rated free remained at 14 per cent in 2013, or only one in seven people.

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Read more Current Affairs on: India , dropped , Freedom of the press 2014.

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