Journalism, the main vaccine against disinformation, is completely or partly blocked in 73% of the 180 countries, says RSF.
MUMBAI, Apr 30 (The CONNECT) - India ranks 142 in the World Press Freedom Index 2021- below Nepal, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka - among 180 countries listed by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), a Paris based international NGO.
The index shows that journalism, the main vaccine against disinformation, is completely or partly blocked in 73% of the 180 countries ranked by the organisation.
RSF which has consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), says freedom of information is fundamental in any democracy, but nearly half of the world’s population has no access to freely-reported news and information.
India can draw some solace from the Index than ranks Pakistan slightly below at 145 and Russia and Bangadesh much below at 150 and 152.
Norway is global number 1 in the Index, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Costa Rica in that order.
As RSF says freedom of expression and information is the first and most important of freedoms. It asks: “How can we combat atrocities against civilians, tackle the tragedy of child soldiers, defend women’s rights or defend our environment if journalists aren’t free to report the facts, draw attention to abuses and appeal to the public’s conscience?”
There are countries where the torturers stopped torturing when the media began talking about them, and corrupt politicians abandoned shady practices when investigative journalists published compromising information.
Founded by four journalists in the southern French city Montpellier in 1985, RSF is now one of the world’s leading NGOs in the defense and promotion of freedom of information, the NGO’s website says.
Registered in France as a non-profit organization since 1995, RSF has distinguished itself in China, by its protests during the 2008 Beijing Olympics; in Africa, by creating the only independent radio station broadcasting to Eritreans in 2009; in Haiti, by creating a media support center after the January 2010 earthquake; and more recently in Syria by providing training to journalists and bloggers.