Press freedom rankings: India slips 3 places to 136, ‘Modi’s nationalism’ blamed | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Press freedom rankings: India slips 3 places to 136, ‘Modi’s nationalism’ blamed

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Apr 27, 2017 11:46 AM IST

In the index released on Wednesday, India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine.

India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries, the dismal performance blamed on “Modi’s nationalism” and growing “self-censorship” in the mainstream media.

India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries.(Shutterstock)
India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries.(Shutterstock)

In the index released on Wednesday, India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine. India’s neighbours Bhutan and Nepal were placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

“With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media,” the report from media watchdog Reporters without Borders said. India was ranked 133 last year.

The latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom rankings. (AFP)
The latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom rankings. (AFP)

The report mentioned that journalists were increasingly targets of online smear campaigns and threats.

“Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which “sedition” is punishable by life imprisonment.”

“No journalist has so far been convicted of sedition but the threat encourages self-censorship.”

The watchdog was also critical of a social media and internet gag in Kashmir and said that in the absence of any “protective mechanism, coverage of sensitive regions continued to be “very difficult”.

Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark took the first four positions in the rankings. The United States was at the 43rd position. Large swathes of sub-Saharan Africa, including dictator-ruled Zimbabwe, performed better than India.

China was 176th among 180 countries and was described as the “world’s leading prison for citizen journalists”. North Korea was at the bottom of the index.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Dhrubo works as an edit resource and writes at the intersection of caste, gender, sexuality and politics. Formerly trained in Physics, abandoned a study of the stars for the glitter of journalism. Fish out of digital water.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On