~ India is ranked 136 in the World Press Freedom Index, three points down from last year.
~ Norway is at the apex and North Korea at the bottom of the 180-strong list of nations.
~ Released annually by Reporters Without Borders, the Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
~ On the whole, the world has become a darker space for journalists, going by the Index map.
~ A total of 21 countries are now colored black on the press freedom map because the situation there is classified as “very bad,” and 51 [two more than last year] are colored red, meaning that the situation in these countries is classified as “bad.”
~ In all, the situation has worsened in nearly two thirds [62.2%] of the 180 countries in the Index.
~ India has gone down from last year’s 133 rank.
~ The report blames the rise of Hindu nationalism for the drop in ranking.
~ “With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media,” says the report.