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World Press Freedom Index 2019

Published on Saturday, April 27, 2019
World Press Freedom Index 2019
World Press Freedom Index 2019 has recently been released by Reporters Without Borders.
The report which covered 180 countries states that there is an increased sense of hostility towards journalists across the world.

What is "Reporters Without Borders"?

  • Reporters Without Borders also known as Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF)  is a Paris-based non-profit organisation.
  • The aim of the organisation is to document and combat attacks on journalists around the world. 

What Does the Report Say?

  • The report mentioned that hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear around the world. 
  • The number of countries considered secure for journalists has declined.
  • The grip of authoritarian regimes is tightened on the media that resulted in a climate of fear.
  • Norway is ranked first in the 2019 Index for the third year running
  • Finland has taken second place followed by Sweden and the Netherlands
  • Turkmenistan is at the bottom of the index while Vietnam and China are at 176th and 177th positions respectively.

India's Position

  • India's position has dropped by two positions making it at 140th (45.67 points) as compared to 138th in the last year's report.
  • Violence against journalists – including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians – is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India. 
  • At least six Indian journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2018. These murders highlighted the many dangers Indian journalists face, especially those working for non-English-language media outlets in rural areas. 
  • Attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased in the run-up to general elections in the spring of 2019. 
  • The emergence of a #MeToo movement in the media in 2018 has lifted the veil on many cases of harassment and sexual assault to which women reporters have been subjected.
  • Kashmiri journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by paramilitaries acting with the central government’s tacit consent.
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