The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters without Borders based upon the organization’s own assessment of the countries’ press freedom Records in the previous year. [Norway is ranked first in the Index for the fourth year running]
Features of the index
- It intends to reflect the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations, and Citizens have in each country, and the efforts made by authorities to respect this freedom.
- It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.
- Reporters without Borders is careful to note that the index only deals with press freedom and does not measure the quality of journalism nor does it look at human rights violations in general.
Compilation of the index
- The degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries and regions is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF.
- This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.
- The criteria used in the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.
- Ever since the 2013 index, countries have been given scores ranging from 0 to 100, with 0 being the best possible score and 100 the worst.
- The press freedom map, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the situation in each country and region in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (orange), bad (red) and very bad (black).
Status of India
India has dropped two places on the global press freedom index to be ranked 142nd out of 180 countries. With no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018, the security situation for the country’s media has 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.