The 2016 World Press Freedom Index is out and India stands at 133th
place among 180 countries.
The silver lining is that India has jumped three places over its rank in 2015, indicating that the condition of press in India is somewhat improving, albeit slowly.
The index prepared and released by Reporters Sans Frontieres (or Reporters Without Borders) reflects on the condition of journalists and freedom of speech and expression in countries of the world.
The black areas indicated countries where press freedom is in an abysmal state. The red, where it is n a poor state, and the lightest colours are for the countries where press is free. RSF
Commenting on India’s ranking, RSF wrote that the biggest problem for journalists in India was government indifference to threats against them.
The RSF alleges that the Modi government plans to open a journalism university
run by former “propaganda ministry officials”.
At the same time RSF says that journalists find it hard to cover sensitive areas such as Kashmir because of government restrictions.
Only Bhutan (94) and Nepal (105) are ahead of India among all South Asian countries.
What is surprising that despite the brutal killings of high-profile secular bloggers in the last one year alone, Bangladesh’s ranking has jumped two places to 144. While Turkmenistan (178), North Korea (179) and Eritrea (180) ended at the tail of the index, Finland, Netherlands and Norway were the top three.