On World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the Reporters Without Borders annual report noted that the Indian media was operating under tighter constraints than ever before.
In 2016, India stood at 133 of the 180 countries featured on the organisation’s World Press Freedom Index. This year, India’s rank has dropped to 150 – below even Rwanda (136), Libya (143) and Sri Lanka (146).
Since January 1, one journalist has been killed in India. At present, 13 are in jail.
“The violence against journalists, the politically partisan media and the concentration of media ownership all demonstrate that press freedom is in crisis in ‘the world’s largest democracy’…” Reporters Without Borders noted.
For Indian audiences, these rankings merely reinforce what they already know from reading or watching the news: that the media is often serving up a distorted picture of our country’s realities. The Indian news media frequently masks the government’s shortcomings, exaggerates its achievements – and fails to evaluate how the lives of ordinary people are affected by policies framed by rulers far away.
On World Press Freedom Day, we at Scroll.in reiterate our commitment to doing the job we are supposed to do – of giving our audience the information they need to be able to evaluate the actions of those in power.
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