World Press Freedom Index: India Ranks Low At 142

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New Delhi: India has ranked 142nd out of 180 countries on a global press freedom index in the annual Reporters Without Borders analysis released on Tuesday.

A report by Reporters Without Borders says there has been a dramatic deterioration of press freedom since the onset of the pandemic. The report said that countries have used the pandemic to limit journalist’s access to information, sources and reporting in the field.

There has been a particular increase in these incidents in Asian, Middle East and European nations. India, ranked 142 of the 180 polled nations, remains one of the most dangerous nations for journalists. Nepal is ranked at 106, Sri Lanka at 127, Pakistan at 145 and Bangladesh at 152. Overall, in 2021, just 7 per cent, of the index’s 180 countries offered a favourable environment for journalism.

The tops ranking countries include Finland at 2, Sweden at 3, Denmark at 4, the Netherlands at 6, Portugal at 9, Belgium at 11, Ireland at 12 and Germany at 13.

In India, the report reads, critical journalists are labelled ‘anti-state or ‘anti-national’ by BJP supporters. In 2020, four journalists were killed in connection with their work. Journalists in India have also been subjected to physical attacks by BJP activists, often with the complicity of the police.

Adding to the issues is a drop in public interest in journalism itself, the report read.

According to the report, 59 per cent of people polled in 28 countries said that journalists deliberately try to mislead the public by reporting false information.

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