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India slips down to 150th rank in RSF 2022 World Press Freedom Index

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index has fallen down to 150th position from last year’s 142nd rank out of 180 countries, according to a report by a global media watchdog released on Tuesday.

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According to the report released by Reporters Without Borders, besides India, its neighbours except Nepal have also slid down in the World Press Freedom Index. While Pakistan is at 157th position, Sri Lanka ranks at 146th, Bangladesh at 162nd and Maynmar at 176th position, news agency PTI cited the report as saying.

Best performing countries

Norway– 1st

Denmark– 2nd

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Sweden– 3rd

Estonia– 4th

Finland– 5th

Among the worst-performing countries in the index, North Korea remained at the bottom of the list, while Russia was placed at 155th position, slipping from 150th last year. As per the global media watchdog, China climbed up by two positions ranking at 175th position, as compared to 177th position last year.

The international non-profit organisation said in a statement on its website, “On the World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders and nine other human rights organisations ask Indian authorities to stop targeting journalists and online critics for their work.”

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“More specifically, they should stop prosecuting them under counterterrorism and sedition laws,” it added.

Referring to the scenario worldwide, the Reporters sans frontieres (RSF) said the “20th World Press Freedom Index reveals a two-fold increase in polarisation amplified by information chaos, that is, media polarisation fuelling divisions within countries, as well as polarisation between countries at the international level.”

Commenting on the RSF 2022 World Press Freedom Index, three Indian journalists bodies– Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India and Press Association– said in a joint statement, “While the job insecurities have grown so have the attacks on press freedoms seen an exponential rise. India does not fare too well in this regard, ranking 150 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by RSF.”

“Journalists have been incarcerated under draconian laws for flimsy reasons and on some occasions faced threat to their lives as well from self-styled custodians of law in the social media space,” they added.

Further, they mentioned that the media has to come together “to reclaim its role towards realisation of this objective” as freedom of the press is integral to the functioning of a vibrant democracy.

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