Maldives slips six ranks in World Press Freedom Index

A journalist jots down notes in a book. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives has slipped six ranks in the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI).  

World Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of 180 nations – compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) – based on the level of freedom enjoyed by journalists and media personnel in those nations.

Maldives, which ranked 100 in the WPFD last year with a score of 56.93, has dropped down 106th, scoring 52.36. This marks a slip from the classification of nations where its ‘Problematic’ to practice journalism to nations where its ‘Difficult’ to practice journalism.

RSF has attributed the ratification of the Evidence Bill into law including the provision which allows courts to compel journalists to disclose their sources in some circumstances as the main reason for the drop in the rank.

RSF utilizes five indicators in compiling the WPFI. Maldives have been scored as follows in the respective fields:

  • Political indicator: 109th place with 43.48. This accounts to a drop of 12 ranks as Maldives placed 97th with 53.75 last year.
  • Economic indicator: 133rd place with 36.04. This accounts to an increase of 28 ranks as Maldives placed 161st last year with 32.84. It is the only indicator in which Maldives improved its score.
  • Legislative indicator: 111th place with 54.42. This accounts to a drop of 13 ranks as Maldives placed 98th last year with 59.01.
  • Social indicator: 131st with place with 48,10. This accounts to a drop of 7 ranks as Maldives placed 124th last year with 55.68.
  • Security indicator: 80th place with 79.79. This accounts to a drop of 23 ranks as Maldives placed 57th last year with 82.48.

Notably, Maldives placed 87th in the WPFD in 2022; classified as a nation where it is “Satisfactory” to practice journalism.