PM Modi on ‘press freedom predators’ list of media watchdog RSF with 36 other world leaders
Reporters Sans Frontières pointed out that journalists in India risked losing their jobs if they criticised the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government.
Global media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières has named Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its list of 37 heads of states who massively cracked down on press freedom. The watchdog labelled them as “press freedom predators”.
Apart from Modi, this year’s list featured North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán were the new entrants to the list.
Modi has been on Reporters Sans Frontières’ “press freedom predators” gallery ever since he took office in 2014.
“After becoming Gujarat’s chief minister in 2001, he used this western state as a laboratory for the news and information control methods he deployed after being elected as India’s prime minister in 2014,” Reporters Sans Frontières said in its entry about Modi.
The global media watchdog added: “His leading weapon is to flood the mainstream media with speeches and information tending to legitimise his national-populist ideology. To this end, he has developed close ties with billionaire businessmen who own vast media empires.”
Reporters Sans Frontières pointed out that journalists in India risked losing their jobs if they criticised the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government. It also highlighted how certain media outlets gave prominent coverage to Modi’s “extremely divisive and derogatory speeches, which often constitute disinformation” to get record viewership.