India slipped three places in the latest World Press Freedom Index report released by media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières on Wednesday. India came 136th in the list of 180 nations while regional rival China maintained its dismal ranking at 176. However, Pakistan gained 8 positions to climb to 139.
In a report titled ‘Threat from Modi’s nationalism’, Paris-based monitoring group said,“With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of anti-national thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media. Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals.”
The rankings, which are released annually, are an indicator of the freedom afforded to journalists in different countries and also evaluates the ‘intensity of attacks’ on journalistic freedom during the past year.
— RSF (@RSF_inter) April 26, 2017
The report also said that globally, press freedom has never been as threatened as it is now. “We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms – especially in democracies, it added.
Finland, that has been at the top for six years, made way for Norway for world’ most free media. North Korea took bottom place from Eritrea, another repressive closed state that has occupied the lowest ranking since 2007. War-torn Syria — the deadliest country for journalists — and Turkmenistan complete the bottom five along with China.