The Reporters Without Borders (RWB) on 12 February 2015 released the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2015. In the WPFI 2015, India was placed at 136th position out of 180 nations that were surveyed worldwide in terms of press freedom.
In the top of the list were three Scandinavian countries: Finland on the 1st position followed by Norway and Denmark. At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea were the worst performers securing the last places in the index.
The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014.
Declines in the WPFI 2015
>> Andorra with 32nd position witnessed the sharpest fall in the index. It fell by 27 places as a result of the many conflicts of interests and lack of independence of its media from financial, political and religious interests.
>> In Asia, East Timor fell by 26 places to 103rd position. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Congo fell 25 places to achieve 107th rank in the index.
>> Western Europe saw numerous countries in decline. Italy was ranked at 73rd position, it fell 24 places. Iceland was down by 13 places to get 21st rank in the index by paying the price of worsening relations between politicians and media.
>> Pressure on independent media continued to intensify in Russia which fell by 4 places to be placed at 152nd rank.
>> The United States was placed at 49th position by falling down by 3 places. In 2014, the New York Times journalist James Risen came under US government pressure to reveal his sources.
The risers in the WPFI 2015
>> Mongolia rose 34 places and was ranked at 54th position, the Index’s biggest jump.
>> Tonga strengthened its position by achieving 44th rank due to an independent press. It rose by 19 places.
>> The end of long-running political crisis in Madagascar boosted the country by 17 places. It stood at 64th position.
>> In Europe, Georgia continued to rise for the third year by securing 69th position, up by 15 places.
>> In 86th place, Ivory Coast was up by 15 places. It continued to emerge from the political and social crisis that plunged the country into full-scale civil war in 2010.
>> Nepal at 105th position was up by 15 places as the country witnessed drop in violence by the security forces against journalists, especially at demonstrations.
>> Tunisia rose seven places to achieve 126th rank, a relative increase although in absolute terms the country stagnated.
>> A cause for satisfaction was Brazil which rose by 12 places to get 99th rank in the index.
>> In Americas, Mexico managed to pull itself up four places, it got 148th rank.
Top 10 in WPFI 2015
India in World Press Freedom Index 2015
In WPFI 2015, India has shown improvement from its rank of 140 in 2014. However, India’s overall score declined from 40.34 to 40.49. In 2014, India stood at 140th position.
About World Press Freedom Index (WPFI)
>> World Press Freedom Index is produced by France-based international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB). WPFI aims to promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press.
>> The WPFI ranks the performance of countries according to index calculated based upon various parameters.
>> These parameters include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.