The Press Council of India (PCI) has rejected the recently released World Press Freedom Index report released on April 25 (that measures the level of media freedom in 180 nations) in which India slipped two places to rank 138th among 180 countries. PCI has rejected the report by saying there was a “lack of clarity” on the inputs that weighed in the rankings which were based on “opinion or perception”.
This report is annually published by NGO Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The annual report has blamed physical violence against media personnel as a reason for India’s low ranking.
The RWB report has cited “physical violence” against journalists like Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in September 2017 outside her house in Bengaluru as the key reason behind India’s low ranking.
PCI Chairman Justice (retd) C K Prasad has reportedly said, “We reject the rankings by the RWB. I am of the opinion that undue importance is given to the rankings. There is no clarity on the inputs that weighed in the ranking of a country.”
PCI chairman further added that the rankings were “reportedly” based partly on a questionnaire sent to the partner organisation of the RWF, its correspondents around the world, and journalists, researchers, jurists and human right activists.