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Freedom Of Speech By Country Rank

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In The 2022 Edition Of The Press Freedom Index Published By Reporters Without Borders India Ranked At The 150th Position Eight Positions Lower Than Last Year

Tucker: There’s no value more American than free speech

May 05, 2022 06:18 pm | Updated 08:15 pm IST

Freedom of the press is at risk concept – World press freedom day concept| Photo Credit: weerapatkiatdumrong

In the 2022 edition of the Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, India fell to the 150th position, its lowest ever, out of 180 countries. In the last edition, India was ranked eight positions higher, at 142. The ranking is based on a countrys performance in five broad categories: political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context and safety of journalists. Of the five, Indias ranking was lowest in the safety of journalists category and best in the legal framework category

A drop to 150

The chart shows the rankings of 180 countries in the 2022 Press Freedom Index. India has been ranked 150. Countries ranked lower than India include Sudan , Russia , Pakistan , Bangladesh and China

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Across categories

The chart shows Indias rankings across various categories in 2022. India ranked best in the legal framework category and worst in the safety of journalists category. The definition of each category is expanded in the bottom

New low

The chart shows Indias rank in the Press Freedom Index. While India has ranked consistently low over the past few years, its rank in 2022 plunged to the lowest the country has ever seen

Political context

Legal framework

Economic context

Sociocultural context


What Is The Press Freedom Index

The World Press Freedom Index is a publication by the Reporters without Borders as an advocacy tool based on the principles of emulation between states. RSF has been ranking countries according to the degree of the freedom of the press since 2002. The influence of the RSF report is growing with many heads of states and governments taking note of the publication. The index ranks countries based on the evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, the legislative framework in the country, and the safety of journalists. The degree of freedom is determined by analyzing the response of experts to the questions devised by the RSF. The data gathered is combined with the number of abuses and acts of violence meted on journalists. The complete tally of abuses and violence on journalists and media houses are kept by experts who are assigned to the different regions. In the interpretation of the freedom index result, the higher the figure, the worse the situation

Free Speech In The United States

Although the above study makes clear that freedom of expression in America has room to improve, Americans are among the world’s most supportive citizens with regard to free speecheven if it criticizes the government or supports an unpopular opinionfreedom of the press, and the right to use the internet without government censorship. Freedom of speech is a fundamental principle in the U.S., protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.

In the U.S., freedom of speech includes the right to engage in symbolic speech, to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages, to advertise commercial products and professional services , and the right to not speak if one so desires. Americans are also more tolerant of offensive speech than people in most other nations.

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Reporters Without Borders Ranks China As 1 Of 10 Worst Countries For Press Freedom

Reporters Without Borders ranked China 159th out of 167 countries in its 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, released on October 20. China ranked ahead of Nepal, Cuba, Libya, Burma, Iran, Turkmenistan, Eritrea, and North Korea in granting press freedom, according to the Index. The authors note that, despite some media privatization in China, “the government’s propaganda department monitors the media, which were forbidden to mention dozens of sensitive subjects in the past year.”

Reporters Without Borders ranked China 159th out of 167 countries in its 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, released on October 20. China ranked ahead of Nepal, Cuba, Libya, Burma, Iran, Turkmenistan, Eritrea, and North Korea in granting press freedom, according to the Index. The authors note that, despite some media privatization in China, “the government’s propaganda department monitors the media, which were forbidden to mention dozens of sensitive subjects in the past year.”

Why We Published This Index

[INFOGRAPHIC] Online Censorship, how does your country rate?

In 2008, Coloradan Diana Brickell published a 34-page, heavily footnoted paper explaining and criticizing the Personhood Movement. In the final sentence, Diana wrote if you believe that human life has value, the only moral choice is to vote against Amendment 62, a pro-life Colorado ballot measure supported by the Personhood Movement. Diana, and her co-author Ari Armstrong, published the paper on the website of their nonprofit, Coalition for Secular Government, which they founded to promote a secular understanding of individual rights, including freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. Her paper, and efforts by CSG to promote her work, eventually caused Colorado to regulate CSG and Diana in much the same manner as if she were running for governor.

Diana was shocked. She had no idea her modest efforts to distribute her philosophical treatise to the public would be treated like a campaign ad by state regulators. Suddenly, she found herself forced to catalog practically every dollar the duo spent or received to support their work. Every office supply purchase had to be recorded. Even small donors had to be exposed to state officials. Once, Diana was one day late filing her report because her house had flooded. The state tried to fine her for the delay.

To read the complete Index, including a detailed description of each category, click here.

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Foreword By Institute For Free Speech Chairman And Founder Bradley A Smith

On behalf of the Institute for Free Speech, I am pleased to present the Free Speech Index: A first-of-its-kind analysis of laws restricting speech about government in all 50 states. This Index is the most comprehensive examination of state laws governing and regulating political engagement ever published.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Unfortunately, Congress and the states have passed too many laws limiting these rights. Federal campaign finance laws and regulations contain over 376,000 words, but as this Index shows, this statistic only scratches the surface. Each of the 50 states has its own collection of campaign finance laws and regulations limiting the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition. Many of these state laws are poorly written, complex, or both.

This is the second Index published by the Institute. The first edition of the Free Speech Index, published in 2018, was a groundbreaking survey of state laws that determined whose laws on political giving were most protective of free speech. For the first time, legislators, reporters, and most importantly, citizens, had a tool to evaluate their states performance on the core measure of voters ability to support the political candidates of their choice, free from state interference.

Free Speech Around The World

In general, the 2015 Pew survey revealed that countries in the Western Hemisphere are more tolerant than countries in the Eastern Hemisphere, with Mexico and Canada ranking fourth and sixth, respectively. Poland ranked as the second-most tolerant with a median score of 5.66, followed by Spain at 5.62. The lowest support for free expression among the countries surveyed came from Senegal , Jordan , and Pakistan .

A broader study of democracy as a whole conducted by Pew Research in 2019 included a question about whether respondents felt their right to free speech was secure and protected. Perhaps surprisingly, only 73% of respondents in the United States felt that free speech was properly protected. This placed the U.S. below several other countries, including Canada at 79%, the Netherlands at 84%, and Indonesia, which scored a survey-leading 86%.

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Countries Ranked By Freedom Of Press

Countries ranked by freedom of press, using the latest evaluation of the level of freedom available to journalists around the world.

Since 2002, Reporters Without Borders has released its annual World Press Freedom Index. The index assesses and ranks 180 countries and regions according to the degree of freedom available to journalists.

The index uses five categories to rank the press freedom situation in every country:

The index is not an evaluation of the quality of journalism. The index is an assessment of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.

The index draws on data gathered from an 87-question survey sent out to journalists in 180 countries. The analysis of the questionnaires is combined with quantitative data available on abuses and acts of violence towards journalists throughout the evaluation period.

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How Free Is Speech In India, Really? We The People

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Freedom Of Speech By Country

Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of government censorship or punishment. “Speech” is not limited to public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression. The right is preserved in the United NationsUniversal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. Nonetheless, the degree to which the right is upheld in practice varies greatly from one nation to another. In many nations, particularly those with forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced. Censorship has also been claimed to occur in other forms and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws.

The following list is partially composed of the respective countries’ government claims and does not fully reflect the de facto situation, however many sections of the page do contain information about the validity of the government’s claims alongside said claims.

The 12 Categories Of The Human Freedom Index:

  • Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
  • Expression and Information
  • Legal System and Property Rights
  • Access to Sound Money
  • Freedom to Trade Internationally

The Human Freedom Index gives each country a score from 0 to 10, wherein a score of 10 represents the most freedom and 0 represents no freedom at all, in each of the 82 indicators. These scores are carefully weighted and combined to determine the values for personal freedom and economic freedom, then those two values are averaged to determine each countrys ultimate human freedom index score.

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Freedom Index By Country 2022

Human freedom is an inherently valuable social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals. Human freedom enables and empowers people to do as they please, free from constraints or punishments, so long as it does not impinge upon the freedom of another. Human freedom plays a huge role in human progress.

The Limits Of Free Speech

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Freedom of speech does have restrictions. These include, but are not limited to: libel, slander, incitement, copyright violation, trade secrets, and perjury. A person may not incite action that would harm others, such as shouting fire in a crowded theater. A person may not make or distribute obscene materials, and students may not make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event. Threats, racist speech, and other ethnically or religiously intolerant statements are also widely frowned upon and are legally actionable in some countries and situations.

While many nations acknowledge freedom of speech as a fundamental right and allow their people to freely voice their opinions and ideas, other nations are much more restrictive. Some of the most censored nations globally are North Korea, Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Eritrea, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Syria, and Belarus. Citizens of these countries are virtually isolated by who see open access to information as a threat to their rule. The media is either state-controlled or silenced, the internet is filtered, and highly censored and restrictive laws are usedoften in tandem with fear and intimidationto prevent the spread of ideas and information.

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Countries Have Freedom Of Expression

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance has a database called the Global State of Democracy Indices, which records 116 measures of democratic freedom in 165 different nations.

The GSDIs eight free speech indicators are whether the government imposes censorship on the media, if ones cultural expression is suppressed and whether men and women are at ease speaking their minds in public.

When all of these measures are put together, you get one number that ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. If youd like to see the entire list of scores from 2020, click on the table below this one.

A Note About Contribution Limits And The 2018 Free Speech Index

Educated observers will notice that, while this Index surveys in great detail the ability of individuals and groups to speak and publish information about government, it overlooks another restriction: the freedom of individuals to contribute to those groups that speak about candidates and causes.

In 2018, the Institute for Free Speech released the inaugural Free Speech Index Grading the 50 States on Political Giving Freedom. That publication covers restrictions on exactly that freedom: whether and how states restrict Americans ability to contribute to candidates, political parties, and political groups. That 2018 Index, consequently, measures the First Amendment right of Americans to contribute, while this Index assesses the First Amendment right of Americans to organize and spend money on political advocacy or issue speech.Contributing to campaigns, parties, and political groups is among the most simple and effective avenue through which citizens can participate in the democratic process and make their voices heard. Unfortunately, as readers of the first Index know, Americans across the country face severe restrictions on this fundamental freedom. But there was good news in our findings. Citizens in most states are free to donate without restriction in at least one of the categories we studied in that Index.

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Top 5 Countries With More Freedom Of The Press Than The Us

5. SurinameSuriname is the smallest sovereign state in South America and part of the continents less prosperous northeastern coast. In 2010, former dictator Dési Bouterse was elected as President of the country. While Suriname enjoys greater freedom of the press than the United States, it does not enjoy open markets. Tariffs are high, foreign investment rules are insane, corruption is high, and it takes almost two years to start a business. Government jobs are about the only ones easy to come by, and private property is poorly protected. Suriname ranked 31st in freedom of the press in 2013.

4. GhanaIf you want to be a frontier market entrepreneur in Africa, Ghana isnt your worst option. However, while Ghana has undergone decent economic reforms, it still suffers from corruption and starting a business costs four times the average annual salary. These issues still make Ghana the seventh freest economy in Africa, however the country is still very much a frontier economy. Only thirteen percent of roads were paved as of a few years ago, but Ghana still managed to place thirtieth on the Freedom of the Press Index, two places higher above the USA.

What are your thoughts on press freedom in the United States and around the world? Leave a comment below.

The Limitations Of Free Speech

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There are limitations to ones right to free speech. But these arent the only things you may be accused of: defamation, invasion of privacy, invasion of copyright and trade secret rights, and even perjury. People arent allowed to instigate violence, such as yelling fire in a packed cinema.

Students are prohibited from making or distributing obscene items or making obscene speeches at school-sponsored events. In certain nations and conditions, threats, racist comments, and other racially or religiously intolerant sentiments are also illegally actionable.

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However, although many countries consider freedom of expression a basic right, others significantly restrict its use. North Korea, Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Eritrea, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Syria, and Belarus are some of the most censored countries in the world.

When it comes to spreading information and ideas, governments deploy a combination of censorship and intimidation, as well as state-controlled media and internet censorship.


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Rsfs 2022 World Press Freedom Index : A New Era Of Polarisation


The 20th World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders reveals a two-fold increase in polarisation amplified by information chaos that is, media polarisation fuelling divisions within countries, as well as polarisation between countries at the international level.

The 2022 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, which assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories, highlights the disastrous effects of news and information chaos the effects of a globalised and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.

Within democratic societies, divisions are growing as a result of the spread of opinion media following the Fox News model and the spread of disinformation circuits that are amplified by the way social media functions. At the international level, democracies are being weakened by the asymmetry between open societies and despotic regimes that control their media and online platforms while waging propaganda wars against democracies. Polarisation on these two levels is fuelling increased tension.

The trio of Nordic countries at the top of the Index Norway, Denmark and Sweden continues to serve as a democratic model where freedom of expression flourishes, while Moldova and Bulgaria stand out this year thanks to a government change and the hope it has brought for improvement in the situation for journalists even if oligarchs still own or control the media.

New way of compiling the Index

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