Dec 12, 2007 at 09:53am IST

Here's what Indians think about press freedom

London: Indians feel their news media is amongst the most free and unbiased in the world - that's according to a BBC world service poll on press freedom.

The poll, conducted by Globescan and Synovate across 14 countries, found Indians to be positive about the honesty of news reporting in their country and eager to have a say in news reporting decisions.

“Indians consume a lot of media and ours is an urban sample of Indians. These people read one, two or even three newspapers at times. It's a very literate, focused population,” says Vice President, Globescan, Chris Coulter.

While Indians seem generally satisfied with the accuracy of news reporting, they value social stability more than freedom of the press, implying that sometimes it might be necessary to control and regulate reporting for the greater good.

This is quite contrary to the perceptions in the US and Britain. Experts feel lack of a regulatory environment could perhaps influence perceptions in India.

“There's sense that Indian media can do whatever they want and is very aggressive. They other potential hypothesis around why Indians are little more toward social stability than other countries might be related to the vast changes that have taken place in the country in the last 10 years,” says Coulter.

Developed countries, on the other hand, are more critical of the accuracy of news reporting. Most of them are concerned about the concentration of media ownership in fewer hands and rate media performance in their countries to be low.

African countries like Kenya and Nigeria rate the media performance more positively.