NATIONAL

Javadekar slams report on press freedom

India slips two places in global index released by Reporters Without Borders

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, in a tweet on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, said the government “will expose” surveys that portray a “bad picture about ‘freedom of Press’ in India”.

The Minister’s comments came against the backdrop of the latest survey of Reporters Without Borders that shows India dropping two places on the global press freedom index ranking to 142nd on the list of 180 countries. Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka are ranked higher.

‘Will expose surveys’

“Media has the power to inform and enlighten people. Media in India enjoy absolute freedom. We will expose, sooner than later, those surveys that tend to portray bad picture about ‘Freedom of Press’ in India,” Mr. Javadekar tweeted. The report on “'The World Press Freedom Index 2020”, released on April 22, 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. In 2013 and 2014 it slipped to 140th 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. In 2018 and 2019, it slipped two ranks, to be at 138 and 140, respectively.

Recommended for you