International press freedom has declined to its lowest level in over a decade, according to the latest edition of the Freedom House’s press freedom survey. Freedom House is a US-based independent organisation dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.
India was ranked 78th and the score declined by a point, to 39, to reflect increased interference in content by media owners in the run-up to the 2014 elections, which led to the dismissal of key editorial staff in several instances, the report said.
The decline was driven in part by controls in several Middle Eastern states including Egypt, Libya, and Jordan and deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.
Of the 197 countries and territories assessed during 2013, a total of 63 (32%) were rated free, 68 (35%) were rated partly free and 66 (33%) were rated not free. The share of the world’s population with media rated “Free” remains at just 14% or only one in seven people. Far larger shares live in “Not Free” (44%) or “Partly Free” (42%) media environments.
While Netherlands, Norway and Sweden were ranked No 1 with completely free press, North Korea was ranked the last at 197.