World Press Freedom Index for the year 2018 has been released every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states.
The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country.
Indicators: Along with the Index, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators that evaluate the overall performance of countries (in the world and in each region) as regards media freedom. It is an absolute measure that complements the Index’s comparative rankings. The global indicator is the average of the regional indicators, each of which is obtained by averaging the scores of all the countries in the region, weighted according to their population as given by the World Bank.
Press freedom map: The press freedom map, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the sitution in each country in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (yellow), bad (red) and very bad (black).
Press Freedom Index 2018- Highlights:
In this year’s index, Norway is first for the second year running, followed — as it was last year — by Sweden.
India has dropped from rank 136 last year to rank 138 this year. India fared poorly on indicators such as hate speeches, attacks on journalists on social media, trolling them and targeting their reputation.
SAARC nations: Afghanistan (118), Bhutan (94), Nepal (106), the Maldives (120), and Sri Lanka (131), all performed better than India; with Pakistan (139) and Bangladesh (146) performing worse.
North Korea continues to rank last.
Recently, Trump said that USA is shifting the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem which clearly indicates that now the USA is claiming that Jerusalem as capital of Israel. The US officials say that this move is motivated by the fact that Jerusalem is a city of Historical importance and it eligible to be a capital of Israel. While officially making Jerusalem as a capital of Israel was an official campaign of Trump. This move is welcomed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu which is one of the Trump’s biggest supporters.
Affect of this move:- While, any such move of USA will be supported by the Israel. The Palestinians have warned that changing this step of USA would mean the end of those peace efforts. They have threatened that mass street protest may take full scale violence. Palestinian leaders are resolute that an embassy move to Jerusalem would result into violation of international law and there will be unrest in the region. This issue will also deteriorate relation with Arab. The Arab nation threatened that moving the embassy may lead to diplomatic crises with Arab states. Head of the Arab league has called that this step of US president may lead to dangerous situation and considered it as unacceptable attack to Israel-Palestinians conflict. Further, it would overturn international consensus and will be considered as an attack on 70 years of efforts to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine. UN-security council condemns Trump’s decision. The step is even opposed by the Gaza strip and West Bank of it.
India’s Stand:- India is neutral on this issue. It considers Palestine as an independent state. However, India stand on Jerusalem is unclear. This is a diplomatic stand of India not to disturb its relationship with any of two parties that is Arab on one side and Israel and USA on the other. Both these parties are of strategic importance for India, with whom India’s trade is flourishing. Taking one stand could disturb trade and diplomatic relationship with other. India cannot afford to lose any one because both of them are of economic importance for India.
Some related information to this issue: – The status of Jerusalem home to sites holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians is one of the core issues in the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict of 1967. After occupying the eastern part of the city Jerusalem by Israel, it made the city as undivided capital of Jerusalem.
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