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  • 05 May, 2020

  • 3 Min Read

World Press Freedom Index 2020

World Press Freedom Index 2020

Part of: GS-II- Major world reports (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

The latest survey of the global body, Reporters without Borders, that shows India dropping two places on the global press freedom index ranking to 142nd place in the list of 180 countries. India’s neighbours — Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka — are ranked higher in the list.

Imp Points

  • The report on “The World Press Freedom Index 2020”, which was released, said that with no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018, the security situation for the country's media might seem, on the face of it, to have improved.
  • However, there have been constant press freedom violations, including police violence against journalists, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials,” it said.
  • In 2010, India was ranked 122, which has been steadily declining. In 2013 and 2014 it slipped to 140 place. But in 2015, it improved four positions to be placed at 136. In 2016, it further improved to be at 133. In 2017, it was back at 136. Next two years, 2018 and 2019 it slipped two ranks, to be at 138 and 140 respectively.
  • Norway is ranked first in the Index for the fourth year running. China at 177, is just three places above North Korea, which is at 180.
  • The theme for 2020’s World Press Freedom Day is Journalism without Fear or Favour, an idea that becomes especially significant during the Covid-19 crisis, when the press has been declared an essential service, and journalists deemed a vital part of the frontline battle against coronavirus.

World Press Freedom Day was started by the UN General Assembly in December 1993 in accordance with recommendations by UNESCO’s General Conference.

This particular date 3 May was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek — the declaration of free press principles put together by newspaper journalists in Africa during a UNESCO seminar called Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press in Windhoek, Namibia in 1991.

The journalists’ statement called for an independent and pluralistic media across the world. It saw a free press as essential to democracy and a fundamental human right.
This special day is meant to be a reminder to governments about their need to commit to a free press. It also serves as a day for media professionals to reflect on issues of press freedom, professional ethics and their role.

Source: PIB


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