World Press Freedom Index-2018

Published on Saturday, April 28, 2018
Recently Press Freedom Index was released by Reporters without Borders. In this context following topics are discussed:
  1. Key points in the Press Freedom Index 
  2. How the index is compiled? 
  3. Press Freedom Map 
  4. Top 10 countries in the Press Freedom Index 
  5. Indicators used in Press Freedom Index 
  6. Press Freedom Index and World 
  7. Press Freedom Index and India 
  8. Press Freedom Index and SAARC 

Key points in the Press Freedom Index

  • Name of the Index- Press Freedom Index 
  • Released by- Reporters without Borders 
  • Top country in Press Freedom Index-Norway 
  • Bottom country In Press Freedom Index-North Korea 
  • Rank of India in Press Freedom Index-138 

How The Index is Compiles

  • The degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF. 
  • In calculating the index qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated. 
  • The criteria evaluated in the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information. 
  • It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. 

Press freedom map:

Press freedom map is distributed in the forms like print and digital versions. This map offers a visual overview of the situation of press in each country in the Index.
The colour categories in the press freedom index are assigned as follows:
  1. White-Good 
  2. Yellow- fairly good 
  3. Red- bad 
  4. Black-Very bad 

First 10 countries in the World Press Freedom Index-2018:

Name of the country Rank Global score
Norway 1 7.63
Sweden 2 8.31
Netherlands 3 10.01
Finland 4 10.26
Switzerland 5 11.27
Jamica 6 11.33
Belgium 7 13.16
New Zealand 8 13.62
Denmark 9 13.99
Costa Rica 10 14.01


  • Along with the Index, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators that evaluate the overall performance of countries (in the world and in each region) as regards media freedom. 
  • It is an absolute measure that complements the Index’s comparative rankings. 
  • The global indicator is the average of the regional indicators, each of which is obtained by averaging the scores of all the countries in the region, weighted according to their population as given by the World Bank. 

India & Press Freedom Index

  • India's ranking in the Press Freedom Index has fallen two places to 138 in the World Press Freedom Index and now ranks just above Pakistan in a ranking of 180 countries. 
  • Some of the reasons for falling India’s ranking is 
  • Physical violence" against journalists like Gauri Lankesh as the key reason behind the country's low ranking. 
  • India also fared poorly on indicators such as hate speeches, attacks on journalists on social media, trolling them and targeting their reputation. 
  • The index also mentions that at least four journalists have been shot dead in India in the previous year. 

World & Press Freedom Index

Norway topped the list of having the world's freest press for the second year in a row followed by Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland.
North Korea remained the most repressive country followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and then China
China's ranking remained unchanged at 175th position for the second year
As per the Index’s definition, the quality of press freedom in the country is bad. Of the 180 countries ranked,
  • 9 per cent had press freedom that could be qualified as good, 
  • 17 per cent were fairly good, 
  • 35 per cent of the countries the situation was problematic, for 
  • 27 per cent of the countries including India the press freedom situation is bad and in 
  • 12 per cent of the nations, the press freedom quality is very bad. 

SAARC & Press Freedom Index:

SAARC nations ranking in press freedom index are: Afghanistan (118), Bhutan (94), Nepal (106), the Maldives (120), and Sri Lanka (131), all performed better than India; with Pakistan (139) and Bangladesh (146) performing worse.

Press freedom map:

The press freedom map, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the sitution in each country in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (yellow), bad (red) and very bad (black).

Model Questions:

1. What is the rank of India in Press Freedom Index? 
a. 133
b. 135
c. 138
d. 140
Ans: C

2. Which of the following organisations released World Press Freedom Index? 
a. World Bank
c. Reporters without borders
d. IMF
Ans: C

3. Which country had the least freedom of press?
a. China
b. North Korea
c. South Korea
d. Japan
Ans: B

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