Press freedom: SL ranked 141st out of 180 states


Sri Lanka has been ranked sixth among the eight South Asian countries as far as press freedom in the region is concerned, as per the annual rankings released by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries on indicators such as media independence, self-censorship, the rule of law, transparency and abuses.

Bhutan with a score of 30.73 has been ranked in the 94th position in the world index tops the SAARC nations while Nepal in the 105th position of the world ranking come second.

Among the other South Asian countries, India is ranked 133rd with a score of 43.17, Afghanistan 120th (37.75), Pakistan 147th (48.52), Sri Lanka 141st (44.96), Maldives 112th (34.17), and Bangladesh 144th (45.94) respectively.

Among the lowest ranked countries were Syria at 177th place out of 180, just below China (176th) but above North Korea (179th) and last placed Eritrea.

While Europe remained the region with the most press freedom, Reporters Without Borders warned that the misuse of counter-terrorist and counter-espionage measures and conflicts of interest had put it on "a downhill course".

In Europe, the threats to journalists were linked to rising nationalism which saw death threats in Sweden, which dropped three places to 8th.

The report by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders also painted a sad picture of the world media freedom that has suffered a "deep and disturbing decline" due to pressure from "governments, ideologies and private-sector interests".

The United States has gone from 49th to 41st place on the World Press Freedom Index, the latest version of which was published by RSF on April 20. The United States now ranks higher than France (45th), but still ranks lower than Canada (18th).

The 2016 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ released by RSF is led by Finland, which retained its top spot for the sixth consecutive year, followed by the Netherlands and Norway.

Published by RSF every year since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of freedom of information in 180 countries using a series of indicators (pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses and acts of violence against journalists).

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