India improves press freedom rank

India was ranked 136 out of 180 nations worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015, which marks an improvement from its rank of 140 in 2014

Published - February 13, 2015 07:44 am IST - Washington:

India was ranked 136 out of 180 nations worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015, which marks an improvement from its rank of 140 in 2014, even though its absolute score declined from 40.34 to 40.49.

In the annual World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) produced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), India’s “abuse score,” which reflects the intensity of violent harassment faced by journalists was 59.58, which is higher than Sri Lanka’s score of 40.6 but below Pakistan’s score of 64.91 and China’s score of 89.64.

Regarding the country performance the WPFI report said “One journalist and no net citizens were killed.”

The WPFI ranks the performance of countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate, according to its producers.

While the top of the list was this year and in previous years dominated by Scandinavian nations such as Finland, Norway and Denmark, at the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, were the worst performers.

Russia, Iran and China also performed poorly, ranking respectively at 152, 173 and 176 place.

The U.S. was down three places at 49 in 2015, which according to reports was due to the U.S. government’s “persecution of New York Times reporter Jim Risen, as well as the fact that the U.S. ‘continues its war on information in others, such as WikiLeaks.’”

Also cited in the U.S. case were the numerous arrests of journalists covering the police protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Overall RSF said there was a “sharp decline in freedom of information [and] two-thirds of 180 countries performed less well… and press freedom declined in all continents in 2014.”

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