India’s ranking in press freedom falls to 138

• India’s ranking in the Press Freedom Index has fallen two places to 138, in the Reporter’s Without Border’s World Press Freedom Index 2018.

• The low ranking is due to “physical violence” against journalists like Gauri Lankesh as the key reason behind the country’s low ranking.

• India’s ranking has fallen two places to 138th position in a ranking of 180 countries.

• Norway topped the list of having the world’s freest press for the second year in a row, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said while North Korea remained the most repressive country followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and then China.

=> China’s ranking

• China’s ranking remained unchanged at 175th position for the second year.

• Underlining that China’s censorship and surveillance have reached unprecedented levels due to the massive use of new technology.

• Foreign reporters are finding it harder to work and ordinary citizens can now be jailed just for sharing content on a social network or during a private chat on a messaging service.

=> Issue highlighted by the report

• The report warned that hate crime is another issue plaguing India.

• Any investigative reporting that annoys the ruling party or any criticism of Hindutva, elicits a torrent of online insults and calls for the death of the reporter or writer responsible, most of it coming from the prime minister’s troll army.

• The RSF cited the case of the killing of journalist- activist Gauri Lankesh who was shot down outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017.

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