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.