Saturday March 24, 2018
Home Uncategorized What are the ...

What are the key findings of Freedom of the Press Report

Press freedom in 2015 declined to lowest point in 12 years

Utkal Deepika. Wikimedia Commons

Freedom of the Press is an annual report on media independence around the world, produced by Freedom House, a watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.

The report assesses the degree of print, broadcast and digital media freedom in 199 countries and territories.

Freedom of the Press 2016, key findings:

• Press freedom in 2015 declined to lowest point in 12 years.

• Report blames political, criminal and terrorist forces behind efforts to silence media.

• Loss of press freedom primarily linked to heightened partisanship in many countries, and the degree of extralegal intimidation and physical violence faced by journalists.

What is a free press? Area where political news is robust, safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.

Media access

31: percentage of countries with a free press
36: percentage with a partly free press
33: percentage with no free press

13: percentage of world’s population that lives with a free press
41: percentage that lives with a partly free press
46: percentage that lives with no free press

10 worst countries and territories

Belarus, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Countries with largest 1-year decline in press freedom

Bangladesh, Turkey, Burundi, France, Serbia, Yemen, Egypt, Macedonia and Zimbabwe


Report cites the tiny Pacific island nation as the country with the largest loss of press freedom because it began assessing thousands of dollars in fees against journalists wanting to enter the country or blocking their entry altogether, apparently in an effort to silence reports about migrants being held in Nauru who are seeking asylum in Australia.

Bright points in report

Report found two countries moved to ease restrictions on journalists in 2015.

Sri Lanka: After new government was installed, fewer threats and attacks aimed at journalists, and blocks against Internet websites were lifted.

Burkina Faso: Officials dropped prison sentences as punishment for libel, and state interference in news content was curtailed, the report found.

Dangerous issues for media coverage

• Organized crime

• Corruption

• Environment/land development

• Religion

• Disputed Sovereignty

• Lese-majeste (injured magesty)

Countries to watch

The report attributed the declines to a rise in the authoritarian nature of some governments, such as those in Tajikistan, Egypt and Turkey; security situations that have become more dangerous, such as in Libya, Yemen and Burundi; blasphemy laws, such as in Brunei, and tighter government control of state-owned media, such as Poland.

72: Number of countries showing a decline in freedom for the year
43: Number of countries that made gains.

Middle East and North Africa region: Received the worst ratings for press freedom, followed closely by Eurasia.

Freedom on the Net Report

Internet freedom declined for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, report finds.

More governments

• Censored information of public interest

• Expanded surveillance

• Cracked down on privacy tools

Source: Freedom of the Press 2016, Freedom House

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

State Honor To Bollywood Stars May Take A Vulgar Turn

Are we not deeply concerned that this beautiful earth and its beautiful people are being ceaselessly troubled by evil acts of a few inhumane bigots?

Sridevi's family along with the nation is distraught at her death.
Sridevi's family along with the nation is distraught at her death.

– SALIL GEWALI, Shillong

Obscenity and immorality will have the last laugh

What if a mother continuously makes her child eat more and more pudding only? Will he not vomit? This might even make the child suffer from dysentery and other sicknesses? Exactly the same was done to us by the media for 4/5 days immediately after the sudden demise of the Bollywood film star Sridevi in a Dubai Hotel room. The TV audience has been forced to shed tears on and on for the actress. Many have felt it intensely irritating. There was practically minuscule coverage on the election in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura by the media. I guess the gossip of a film star is more important than the citizens exercising the democratic right and other major events across the country.

Is it right to cover the death of a Bollywood star this much?

                      What is not less disgusting is the mindset and the taste of the media these days.  It literally does not let an individual gaze “upwards” and think higher. Thoughts, opinions and commendation expressed about the departed soul may sound poetic but they all border on the “frivolity and actress’s titbits. One fails to understand what good it does to us by knowing the idle gossip of a film actor whose lives are less inspirational. I’m afraid, to the media and its type, the film stars are the “only” inspirational, and all others’ controversial, lol! It seems the Maharashtra government has gone overboard by arranging the cremation of the Bollywood star with the full state honour. Is it wanting to swim with the media tide? Phew, this unprecedented trend might take a very vulgar turn. Obscenity and immorality will have the last laugh!

Also Read: State Honours For Sridevi’s Funeral, Procession Is Among Largest Recorded In Mumbai

Is the death of  Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi not a great loss for the nation who passed away in the same period? His demise did not merit a mention even as a news. Is this not the dangerous trend being set in which even the government is hand in gloves with the media?

               Well, no media brings to light how some female actors lead the life after a certain age. Mostly, their later lives are less enviable. With the waning of the youthful glamour, the media ignores them. During the heyday, many of the single actresses usually get heavily drunk in the glitz of materialism which later makes them stagger and subsequently fall into the sea of frustration and aloofness. In their twilight years, they just struggle hard to make peace with the chaotic thought and unfulfilled expectations.

                        One of my witty nieces yesterday remarked, ‘the media usually wastes the precious time of the people who themselves cannot decide how to be more productive in life. They usually end up looking upon the wrong people as their role models and consequently take the wrong steps. This is very disastrous to the individual and also to the society at large’.  I am sure my niece is cent percent correct.

Sridevi was a legend who deserves our respects and her own privacy.

                      Of course, such occurrence of death of a celebrity could be widely used as a means to inform and wise up the people about how inescapable the death is. This death at any moment can devour each of us. Our mission, our ambition, our vanity and our entire materialistic possessions just fall to pieces when the death snatches our precious body. Before the jaws of death, a successful celebrity and a street bigger are same. It is the biggest leveller. Why does our media not use such facts of the life sensibly and put a little effort to make the citizen more enlightened and more “humane”? This can be done very easily.

Also Read: India Stunned By The Death Of Veteran Actress Sridevi

                       Are we not deeply concerned that this beautiful earth and its beautiful people are being ceaselessly troubled by evil acts of a few inhumane bigots? If ever the knowledge of the “impermanence” of the life and the inevitability of death was harped on and instilled into everyone’s mind, as the entertainment items, the major problem on this earth would have been just solved. People would not have gone mindlessly berserk being the cause of anxiety to others. Most of the problems, difficulties and worries that we have now are only because of the total “ignorance” of the hard facts about the life and death which might attack any of us at any time. Every moment we rejoice and every moment we grieve only pushes us towards the graveyard. I believe, this clear knowledge of “graveyard” and the unpredictably temporary nature of life on earth itself can effectively guard us against a host of wrong thoughts and a host of wrong acts.