India is when it comes to freedom of the press, according to the 2022 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.
The index was published today, May 3, which is also World Press Freedom Day. India ranked 142 in both and .
Press freedom is in "crisis" in India, the report on the index noted, with "violence against journalists, the politically partisan media and the concentration of media ownership". The "fairly progressive" media was impacted "radically" after Modi came to power, it alleged, and "Indian journalists who are too critical of the government are subjected to all-out harassment and attack campaigns by Modi devotees".
Reporters Without Borders accused the Modi government of waging a "guerrilla war of lawsuits against media outlets whose coverage of the pandemic contradicted official statements".
It also pointed out the issue of legacy media houses depending on government ads to survive: "At the national level, the central government has seen that it can exploit this to impose its own narrative, and is now spending more than 130 billion rupees (5 billion euros) a year on ads in the print and online media alone. Recent years have also seen the rise of 'Godi media' (a play on Modi's name and lapdogs) – media outlets such as Times Now and Republic TV that mix populism and pro-BJP propaganda."
The report described India as "one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media" due to "terrifying coordinated campaigns" of hate and murder on social media, targeting of women journalists, and "deadly reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt local officials".
It should be noted that in February this year, the union government said it with the views and country rankings listed in the World Press Freedom Index since it's published by a "foreign" NGO.
Norway is , followed by Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Costa Rica.
The bottom ranks, from 175 to 180, are held by China, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Iran, Eritrea and North Korea.
Among India's neighbours, Pakistan is ranked at 157, Bangladesh at 162, Sri Lanka at 146, Nepal at 76, and Bhutan at 33.
Reporters Without Borders warned that this year, the situation is classified as "very bad" in a record 28 countries, and that "media polarisation" is "feeding and reinforcing internal social divisions in democratic societies", including the United States.