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World Press Freedom Index 2020
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: About the index and its indicators, performance of India and other countries and measures to ensure freedom of press.
Context: The World Press Freedom Index 2020 has been released by the media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
Norway ranks first for the fourth consecutive year and Finland and Denmark in second and third place.
Impact of Coronavirus pandemic:
- The coronavirus pandemic may threaten press freedom and worsen the crises that reporters around the world are facing.
- The pandemic has already redefined norms. The pandemic has allowed governments to take advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose measures that would be impossible in normal times.
- United States and Brazil were becoming models of hostility toward the news media.
- China, Iran and Iraq are criticised for censoring coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
- India has dropped two places to be ranked 142nd.
- With no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018, the security situation for the country’s media might seem, on the face of it, to have improved.
About World Press Freedom Index:
- Published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries.
- It is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists.
- It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region.
- It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts all over the world. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.
- About Reporters Without Borders.
- Performance of India and its neighbours.
- Top and bottom performers.
- Comparison of countries and their performance in previous years.
The “coordinated hate campaigns” waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that annoy Hindutva followers are “alarming”. Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.