World Press Freedom Index: Check Significance of Rank of India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 12, 2022, 14:35

The annual World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) measures the freedom of information in 180 countries, including the performance of democratic states. The ranking is based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists.

What is the World Press Freedom Index?

The World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries according to the freedom available to journalists. The rankings are determined by a combination of indicators, including constraints on the media, economic pressures, the existence of a state monopoly and abuses.

The 2021 World Press Freedom Index ranks India on the 142nd spot amid 180 countries according to their level of press freedom, and it shows that India has become a more dangerous place for journalists. The World Press Freedom Index measures the freedom of information in 180 countries globally, based on a questionnaire sent to journalists, editors, media lawyers and experts every year.

What Is the Significance of the Rank of India in the World Press Freedom Index?

The index is an essential indicator of media freedom in each country and provides a yardstick for measuring progress in the field. It measures the level of freedom journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country and the efforts made by authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.

The index is compiled employing 83 questions with approximately 150 NGOs that experts complete throughout the world. It considers the legal framework, the political situation, and how journalists work. To evaluate the overall level of press freedom in a country (termed "country status"), its scores in the different areas are weighted according to their importance. The index, therefore, reflects the level of impunity enjoyed by those who attack journalists authorities.

What Are the Standards and Measures of the World Press Freedom Index Released by the Authorised Body?

The criteria used to compile the index are:

  1. Pluralism, media independence and environment, self-censorship, transparency, and the quality of legislation.
  2. Legal framework.
  3. Transparency of media ownership.
  4. Transparency of funding.
  5. Abuse of power by private or public media owners.
  6. Distribution of national revenue from the advertising market or other public subsidies among media.
  7. Independence of regulatory bodies.
  8. The quality of the infrastructure supports the production and distribution of news (telephone network, internet access, etc.).

What Does the Report and the World Press Freedom Index India Rank Indicate?

Each year, Reporters Without Borders releases its World Press Freedom Index, ranking countries by the level of freedom available to their journalists. Freedom of the press is a crucial indicator of the health of any given country and is often a good predictor of future unrest and revolution.

The report is based on an assessment of media independence that experts worldwide conduct. The criteria used in their analysis include pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure.

The index only deals with press freedom, but Reporters Without Borders also maintains a list of (mainly) dictatorial regimes called the "Enemies of the Internet". The survey asks questions about pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure. It is sent to the relevant authorities in each country- journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.

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FAQs about World Press Freedom Index

  • What is the World Press Freedom Index 2021 India rank?

The rank of India in the World Press Freedom Index in 2021 was 142.

  • Which organisation is significant for the World Press Freedom Index?

Reporters without Borders is prominent for the World Press Freedom Index.

  • How many countries were involved in the World Press Freedom Index ranking?

One hundred eighty countries were involved in the 2021 ranking for determining the World Press Freedom Index.

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Neha DhyaniNeha DhyaniMember since Jul 2017
An IT engineer turned Writer, Neha is a versatile content creator at ‘Gradeup’, who covers news and top stories of the education sector. She has been in the industry since 2015. She is passionate about her work, however, when she isn’t crafting content, she’s probably reading, playing badminton, watching YouTube or just lazing around. Her email address is