Washington: India’s score in press freedom declined by a point, to 39, to reflect increased interference in content by media owners in the run-up to the 2014 elections, according to a Freedom House report released yesterday.
Such interference “led to the dismissal of key editorial staff in several instances”, says the report which rates India “Partly Free” on a scale from 0 (best) to 100 (worst) divided into three subcategories - “Free”, “Partly Free”, or “Not Free”. Global press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, says the annual ‘Freedom of the Press 2014: A Global Survey of Media Independence’, the report published by the non-profit organisation since 1980.
The report found that despite positive developments in a number of countries, the share of the world’s population with media rated “Free” remains at just 14 percent, or only one in seven people. Far larger shares live in “Not Free” (44 percent) or “Partly Free” (42 percent) media environments. “We see declines in media freedom on a global level, driven by governments’ efforts to control the message and punish the messenger,” said Karin Karlekar, project director of the report.