Physical violence against journalists being the key issue behind the fall in rank
India's ranking in press freedom has fallen two places to 138th position among 180 countries. According to the RSF ranking, physical violence against journalists is largely responsible for India's low ranking. At least three journalists were murdered in connection with their work. More were killed in circumstances that were unclear, as is often the case in rural areas, where reporters are poorly paid.
Norway ranked first in press freedom
Norway topped the list for having the world's freest press for the second year in a row, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said, while North Korea remained the most repressive country followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China.
Hate-crime is another issue plaguing India
The report said, hate speech is also an issue in the continent's other giant, India, which has fallen another two places to the 138th spot. Ever since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, Hindu fundamentalists have been dealing with journalists very violently.
An intolerant troll army
The report said that any investigative reporting that annoys the ruling party or any criticism of Hindutva, elicits a torrent of online insults and calls for the death of the reporter or writer responsible, most of it coming from the prime minister's troll army. The RSF cited the case of the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh who was shot down outside her house in Bengaluru in September last year.
China's ranking unchanged at 175th spot for second year
Underlining that China's censorship and surveillance have reached unprecedented levels due to the massive use of new technology, the RSF said foreign reporters are finding it harder to work and ordinary citizens can now be jailed just for sharing content on a social network or during a private chat on a messaging service.