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World Press Freedom Index 2023


Source: TH


Context: India has slipped in the World Press Freedom Index 2023 rankings, coming in at 161 out of 180 countries, indicating a decline in press freedom.


About the Press Freedom Index

World Press Freedom DayCelebrated every year on May 3rd, to raise awareness about the state of press freedom globally
OriginIt was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day (and the 1991 Windhoek Declaration adopted by UNESCO)
Windhoek DeclarationIt is a statement of principles related to independent, pluralistic, and free press. It was adopted on May 3, 1991, in Windhoek, Namibia.
The theme for this yearShaping a Future of Rights: freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”
World Press Freedom IndexIt is published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (an independent NGO based in Paris).
Scoring CriteriaEach country or territory’s score is evaluated using five contextual indicators:

·        Political context

·        Legal framework

·        Economic context

·        Sociocultural context

·        Safety


100 is the highest possible level of press freedom, and 0 is the worst

Freedom of Press in IndiaFreedom of the press is not expressly protected by the Indian legal system but is impliedly protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. However, restrictions apply under Article 19(2) related to the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
Observations of the report this year India’s press freedom has gone from “problematic” to “very bad,” with the country slipping 11 ranks to 161 out of 180 countries.
Reasons cited for the declineMedia takeovers by “oligarchs” close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that have jeopardized pluralism
Indian Govt. reactionThe Indian government does not agree with the country rankings of the World Press Freedom Index due to its low sample size, little or no weightage to fundamentals of democracy, and a questionable methodology
TopperNorway ranks first on the Index for the seventh year in a row, with Ireland ranking second, and Denmark third.