How Free Is the Fourth Estate? A Discussion about India’s Media Environment | Wilson Center
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How Free Is the Fourth Estate? A Discussion about India’s Media Environment

India features a large and dynamic media market with thousands of newspapers, several hundred news channels, and innumerable news websites. It also boasts a robust independent press. However, journalists, activists, and researchers are expressing increasing concerns about the media environment in India, which ranks 140th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom Index. These concerns include threats to journalists, hate speech in media content, and social media censorship. This event will discuss the current media environment in India—a key U.S. partner in a growing bilateral relationship often defined by its shared democratic values. How serious are challenges within India’s media environment, how have they evolved over the years, and to what extent are they new? How do India’s political dynamics impact the current media environment, and what are the implications for democracy in India? Finally, how should the situation in India be seen in a broader global context, given recent trends with the media in countries around the world?

Image: Debasmita19/Shutterstock


  • Neha Dixit

    Independent Journalist
  • Aliya Iftikhar

    Senior Asia Researcher, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Irfan Nooruddin

    Former Fellow
    Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council and Hamad bin Khalifa Professor of Indian Politics, Georgetown University
  • Shanthi Kalathil

    Senior Director, International Forum for Democractic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy