World Press Freedom Index Report 2020 has been released by a non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders that works to document and combat attacks on journalists around the globe.
- Norway ranks first for the fourth consecutive year followed by Finland and Denmark in second and third place respectively.
- India was dropped down by two places as compared to previous years ranking and was placed at 142nd.
- The report shows that there have been no murders of journalists in India in 2019, as against six in 2018 and the security situations for the country’s media might seem to have improved.
About World Press Freedom Index
- It is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders since 2002.
- The report reflects the degree of freedom that news organisations, journalists, and netizens have, and the efforts made by concerned authorities to respect this freedom in their respective countries.
Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic
- The COVID-19 pandemic may threaten press freedom, worsen the condition of the reporters and plunge the media in deep crises.
- The pandemic has allowed governments to redefine norms by taking the advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, and impose norms which would have been impossible for the governments in normal times.
- China, Iran and Iraq are criticised for censoring coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The United States and Brazil are best examples of hostility toward the news media in these unprecedented times.