World Press Freedom Index has placed Bangladesh in 152 this year. A total of 180 countries were still as always. Following Honduras, Bangladesh has secured its position with a score of 49.71 just before Turkey. Reporters Without Border – which is also known as Reporters sans frontières (RSF) – has ensured it on their web homepage on the last 20th April 2021. They mentioned the word “Tougher politics” while showing the reason for it. Besides, they added the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic. RSF also pointed the police and civilian violence against reporters. Thus, journalism got completely blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries. It is just as devastating as coronavirus.
World Press Freedom Index at a glance
The Press Freedom Index is a yearly list for ranking of countries based on the freedom of journalism. An international non-Government organization named Reporters Without Border, shortly RSF, compile and publish the list. Since 2002, they have been releasing the list intending to safeguard the right to freedom of information. They mainly rank 180 countries based on the freedom of journalism.
RSF develops the index through a survey of 87 questionnaires following the 7 general criteria.
1. Pluralism (Opinions in the media space)
2. Media independence
3. environment and self-censorship
4. legislative framework
The survey questionnaire focuses on the legal framework for the media including-
➢ the consequences for press offenses
➢ the way Government regulates the media
➢ the extent of independence of the public media
➢ uninterruptible information flow over the Internet
The survey respondents are the RSF’s partner organizations. They are 150 correspondents of 18 freedom of expression non-government organizations in five continents. A remarkable number of journalists, researchers, jurists, and human rights activists around the world also participate in this survey.
RSF staffs monitor both the victims and the assailants of the press offenses to evaluate the final score. The victims are the journalists, netizens, and media assistants, while the violence may come from the state, armed militias, clandestine organizations, or pressure groups.
RSF send the survey questionnaire translated into 20 languages to the corresponding countries. They assign a score on each country based on the answers given.
0 point is for the best while 100 points is for the worst. Accordingly, RSF has a colorful scoring map categorizing the press freedom status of countries.
➔ 0 to 15: Good (White)
➔ 15.01 to 25: Satisfactory (Yellow)
➔ 25.01 to 35: Problematic (Orange)
➔ 35.01 to 55: Difficult (Red)
➔ 55.01 to 100: Very Serious (Black)
World Press Freedom Index 2021 Toppers
1. Norway: Score → 6.72
2. Finland: Score → 6.99
3. Sweden: Score → 7.24
4. Denmark: Score → 8.57
5. Costa Rica: Score → 8.76
6. Netherlands: Score → 9.67
7. Jamaica: Score → 9.96
8. New Zealand: Score → 10.04
9. Portugal: Score → 10.11
10. Switzerland: Score → 10.55
Underneath World Press Freedom Index 2021
1. Eritrea: Score → 81.45
2. North Korea: Score → 81.28
3. Turkmenistan: Score → 80.03
4. China: Score → 78.72
5. Djibouti: Score → 78.62
6. Vietnam: Score → 78.46
7. Iran: Score → 72.70
8. Syria: Score → 70.63
9. Laos: Score → 70.56
10. Cuba: Score → 63.94
Bangladesh’s Whereabouts in World Press Freedom Index
The number 152 in the crowd of 180 with a score of 49.71 basically represents the level of freedom available for Bangladeshi journalists. In the last 10 years, Bangladesh’s scenario is as follows:
1. 2011 Ranking 112 Score → 54
2. 2012 Ranking 129 Score → 57
3. 2013 Ranking 144 Score → 42.01
4. 2014 Ranking 146 Score → 42.58
5. 2015 Ranking 146 Score → 42.95
6. 2016 Ranking 144 Score → 45.94
7. 2017 Ranking 146 Score → 48.36
8. 2018 Ranking 146 Score → 48.62
9. 2019 Ranking 150 Score → 50.74
10. 2020 Ranking 151 Score → 49.37
Last year, the coronavirus disaster and accompanying lockdown led to an alarming growth in police and civilian violence towards newshounds. Some journalists, bloggers, and cartoonists had been additionally arrested and prosecuted for his or her reporting of the pandemic and its effect on society. Under the Digital Security Act 2018 “bad propaganda” is punishable via way of means of up to fourteen years in prison. As a result, self-censorship has reached unparalleled ranges due to the fact editors are justifiably reluctant to hazard imprisonment or their media outlet’s closure.
However, despite this violence, there is also a length of speedy improvement for Bangladesh’s media marketplace, with many retailers taking part in each profitability and affect an increasing marketplace. Over the beyond decade, big privately-owned Bangladeshi agencies have moved into the marketplace and lots of the countrywide media is now inside the palms of the most important company organizations inside the country.
Regardless of World Press Freedom Index criticism, the circulation of information demands unconditional independence. However, it is needless to say that professional reporting requires minimum ethics. Otherwise, the knowledge may go beyond authenticity. A journalist must handle the power given to him carefully. Similarly, every government and non-government entity should cooperate with them spontaneously. And that is when the general people can expect the truth.