World Press Freedom Index 2020: Indian rank, Parameters, and facts
Media is called the fourth pillar of democracy in a democratic country like India. It is believed that whenever a democratic government tries to be autocratic the media comes in the light to safeguard the interests of the citizens and netizens.
But from the last few years, it is observed that the government has put pressure on the media house to show the sponsored content and don’t allow anyone to criticize the government for its wrongdoing. Perhaps that is the sole reason that the Indian ranking in the world press freedom index 2020 has slipped two ranks at 142 out of 180 countries.
About the World Press Freedom Index:-
This freedom index is published annually by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) since 2002. Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is a Paris based independent NGO that has consultative status with UNESCO, United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the International Organization of the Francophonie.
The World Press Freedom Index is based on the suppression of press freedom around the world.
To index is prepared on the basis of a questionnaire in 20 languages completed by experts all over the world. This questionnaire has quantitative data related to the abuses and acts of violence against journalists, media houses during the period evaluated.
The ranking of the participating countries is done on the basis of some parameters.
The parameters to decide the Press freedom include:-
3. Media environment and self-censorship
4. Legislative framework
5. Transparency in the news
6. Quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information
Key points of World Press Freedom Index 2020:-
1. A total of 180 countries evaluated.
2. Norway is ranked top in the Index for the fourth consecutive year while Finland and Denmark in second and third place.
3. North Korea is at the bottom-ranked at 180th.
4. India ranked at 142 which is two ranks lower than last year.
5. South Asian countries performed very poorly in this index. China ranked at 177th,
Pakistan at 145th, and Bangladesh dropping one place to 151.
6. The top six places are occupied by European countries.
Why has Indian ranking fallen in the World Press Freedom Index 2020?
1. Coordinated hate campaigns against the journalists on social media by the pro Hindutwa followers.
2. Huge pressure on media houses and journalists to support the government’s Hindu ideology. This suppressed the freedom of the media.
3. Constant press freedom violations. It means the media was not allowed to say what it wanted to say.
4. Police violence against the journalists and attacks and threats to journalists for not adherence to the government’s ideology. In some cases politically motivated arrests of the media house owner also taken place.
5. There were 6 murders of journalist took place in 2018 in India while this year the count is zero. It is a good sign but many journalists have complained that they are receiving many threatening calls from pro-Hindutva supporters and the local political leaders.
So this was the overview of the World Press Freedom Index 2020. We have discussed parameters of the index, ranks of Asian countries, and reasons behind the fall of Indian ranking in the freedom index.