Journalism Versus Kakistocracy
Does this look as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! While North Korea has jumped up one position, India has dropped two places on a Global Press Freedom Index. It is surprising that the fall of the world’s largest democracy is unflinching as far as press freedom is concerned. India has been ranked 140th out of 180 nations in the annual analysis released recently by Reporters Without Borders. In its latest report, the Paris-based Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organisation – which conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press – has mentioned that it is a dangerous time for the Indian journalists as the South Asian nation is holding its 17th Parliamentary Elections in seven phases (from April 11 to May 19).
As per the report, six media persons were killed while performing their duties in India in 2018 and the number had been three in 2017…
This situation in India, as reported, has got the global community worried. The international community has strongly criticised the Indian government for not allowing foreign journalists to visit Kashmir! Even the Indian journalists are not seen enjoying freedom!
According to the report, one of the main characteristics of presenting news in India is brutal attacks on journalists! Not only the most powerful STATE, but also the Maoist guerrillas, corrupt politicians, mafias and criminals are often seen targeting the media persons!
It, according to the report, has become increasingly difficult for the Indian journalists to work freely… After considering the condition of their colleagues, many journalists are voluntarily refusing to publish anti-government information and opinions! These self-imposed restrictions by the journalists prove to be even more dangerous for Democracy… It is not always possible for the people to assess the performance of the government, without having information about the positive and negative sides of the policies taken by the government! Journalists are paid professionals… yet, their duties are closely connected with public interests! That is why journalists are facing troubles during elections.
It had clearly been mentioned in the report that Indian journalists, working in vernacular language dailies and audio-visual media, are in real danger! However, the news is still not endangered. This International report evaluates only the working environment of journalists, and not the news. Indeed, the Indian journalists are going through a time that may be termed markedly tougher than before, but no one is able to stop them from criticising the government! There are many journalists in India who still have the guts to present correct information of the situation prevailing to the people!
We should not consider the ongoing elections as the Dance of Democracy! Various political parties are fighting against each other in a real sense and the contribution of journalists to this mega festival of representative democracy is truly important! As an individual, a journalist enjoys little power… However, the strength of news is immense! And, this Spirit of the Media now beckons the conflicted soul of India’s Democracy!
Meanwhile, Norway has been ranked first in the 2019 Index for the third consecutive year. Finland (up two places) has secured the second position, while the Netherlands (down one) has occupied the fourth. An increase in cyber-harassment caused Sweden (third) to lose one place. At the bottom of the Index, both Vietnam (176th) and China (177th) have fallen one place, while Turkmenistan (down two at 180th) is last, replacing North Korea (up one at 179th).
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