Not So Good News for Indians – Press Freedom

India has dropped two positions in the Press Freedom Index. The attacks on journalists in the reason behind it, especially the death of Gauri Lankesh. Norway has maintained its top position. North Korea is at the bottom of the list. India stands at 138 out of 180. Its global score is 43.24. In 2017 its score was 42.94. Norway has a score of 7.63. India’s neighbors, China ranks at 176 (score 78.29) and Pakistan is at 139 (score 43.24).

According to Reporters Without Borders:
With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media and journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. At least three of the journalists murdered in 2017 were targeted in connection with their work. They included the newspaper editor Gauri Lankesh, who had been the target of a hate campaign on social networks. Three other journalists were killed for their professional activity in March 2018. 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. Coverage of regions that the authorities regard as sensitive, such as Kashmir, continues to be very difficult. Foreign reporters are barred from the region and the Internet is often disconnected there. When not detained, Kashmiri journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government’s tacit consent.

Source: Reporters Without Borders