Freedom of press is declining in India and has gone down to 39 points, which clearly reflects rise in interference by media owners with regards to the content which is published in press. Such interference has increased further recently as Lok Sabha elections are taking place presently. The study report places India in the partly free category, other two being free and not free in a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 being the worst.
Freedom of Press Affected Globally
In similar lines to what is happening in India, around the globe also freedom of press is declining and is presently lowest in the last 10 years. There have been positive developments in many countries but despite that overall media rating of “free” is only about 14%. In comparison, partly free media is about 42% while not free is highest at 44%. In many countries press freedom is blocked itself by government which tries to take charge of messages that media broadcasts.
Last year we saw considerable rise in incidences where private sector as well as government worked against reporters, censored content and blocked access of reporters to many different newsworthy events. If we compare the ratings with 2012 figures, that time out of 197 countries, 64 countries were in not free category, 70 were in partly free category and 63 were in free category.
These figures are greatly affected by population of India and China. China has a not free status while India falls in the partly free category. Together, these two nations account for almost one third of total population of the world. If we look at Asia Pacific region, around five percent of the population in this region gets to utilize free media, according to the report published in 2013.
Freedom of Speech in China
China has continued its restrictions on media due to which it has received a “not free” rating. The country persists with its red tape on online speech and micro-blogs have been the main sufferers. Similarly, the government has not spared foreign journalists also and they are kept under pressure. On the other hand, it has been seen that in terms of freedom for press, countries like Nepal and Burma has shown improvement over the last few years.
Thus as we can see the press freedom is declining in every part of the world and more so in countries like India and China which have large population. Government has a major role to play if we want freedom of press so that information we get is not censored or modified in any way.