NEW DELHI: An annual report put out by Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday listed India among the countries considered the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. India ranks 142 among 180 countries for the second year in a row in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, published by the NGO.
The report said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tightened his government’s grip on media.
It accused the supporters of the ruling BJP of creating an “intimidating environment” for journalists critical of the government, who are routinely labelled as “anti-national” or “anti-state”.
Journalists were exposed to “every kind of attack, including police violence, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials,” it said.
The report also criticised the new IT rules which were brought in to regulate social media content and content on digital news sites.
While Nepal ranked 106, Sri Lanka ranked 127. Pakistan and Bangladesh ranked 145 and 152 respectively.
The World Press Freedom Index evaluated the press situations in 180 countries.
The latest report concluded that 73 per cent of the world’s nations have serious issues with media freedoms.
It says countries have used the pandemic “as grounds to block journalists’ access to information, sources and reporting in the field.” This is particularly the case in Asia and parts of Europe, the report noted.