Nepal Behind Bhutan And Maldives In Press Freedom Index In South Asia

Nepal Behind Bhutan And Maldives In Press Freedom Index In South Asia

May 3, 2020, 8:38 p.m.

Norway has topped Reporters Without Borders' (RSF) annual press freedom index for the fourth consecutive year reports Reporters Without Borders publishes Press Freedom Index.

In South Asia, Bhutan is 67 the followed by Maldives 79 and Nepal 113.

However, Nepal secures 113th place out of 180. In south Asia, Bhutan’s position is 67th, Maldives 79, Afghanistan 122, Sri Lanka 127, India 142, Pakistan 145 and Bangladesh 151. Out of 180 countries, China is in 177. North Korea is in bottom.

Finland retained its second place, while Denmark moved up two places to round out the top three at the expense of Sweden and the Netherlands, which both dropped a place to fourth and fifth respectively because of an "increase in cyber-harassment."

Published every year for almost two decades, the ranking rates 180 countries and territories based on "the level of pluralism, media independence, self-censorship, legal framework, and transparency," according to RSF.

The results are "calculated from responses to a questionnaire that is completed by experts throughout the world, supported by a qualitative analysis."

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North Korea dropped to last place in the table, usurping Turkmenistan, while Eritrea, which lies in 178th, is still the county with the least press freedom in Africa.

Malaysia, in 101st position, up 22, and the Maldives, in 79th place, up 19, had the biggest rises in comparison with last year's Index. RSF cited "beneficial effects of changes of government" in the respective nations.

The report states that there is a "clear correlation between suppression of media freedom in response to the coronavirus pandemic and a country's ranking."

Both China, 177th, and Iran, down three to 173rd, censored their COVID-19 outbreaks "extensively."

"We are entering a decisive decade for journalism linked to crises that affect its future," RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said. "The coronavirus pandemic illustrates the negative factors threatening the right to reliable information, with the pandemic itself an exacerbating factor."

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