Nepal progresses in Press Freedom Index

The 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories.

Journalists stage a protest against new laws that threaten to curb media freedoms.(File photo/AP)

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal has made notable progress in the Press Freedom Index. According to the World Press Freedom Index launched by the Reporters without Borders on Tuesday, Nepal is placed in the 76th position among a list of 180 countries. Last year, Nepal was ranked 106th.

The Index shows that neighboring country India has slid to the 150th position in 2022 from the 142nd position last year. Pakistan too has dropped to the 157th position.

Norway, Denmark and Sweden rank first, second and third positions respectively. Similarly, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Costa Rica are placed in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth position respectively in the Index.

China, Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Myanmar are registered as the countries with the least degree of press freedom.

The 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. It highlights the disastrous effects of news and information chaos – the effects of a globalized and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.

Within democratic societies, divisions are growing as a result of the spread of opinion media following the “Fox News model” and the spread of disinformation circuits that are amplified by the way social media functions. At the international level, democracies are being weakened by the asymmetry between open societies and despotic regimes that control their media and online platforms while waging propaganda wars against democracies. Polarisation on these two levels is fuelling increased tension.

Working with a committee of seven experts from the academic and media sectors, RSF developed a new methodology to compile the 20th World Press Freedom Index, RSF said.

The new methodology defines press freedom as “the effective possibility for journalists, as individuals and as groups, to select, produce and disseminate news and information in the public interest, independently from political, economic, legal and social interference, and without threats to their physical and mental safety.” In order to reflect press freedom’s complexity, five new indicators are now used to compile the Index: the political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and security.