In response to President Trump’s announcement last week that we will soon be awarding THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR, the Committee to Protect Journalists has named Trump the winner of its Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom Award.
The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as Xi, Erdogan, and Sisi.
Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump’s “fake news” epithet, and Erdogan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists. Under Trump’s administration, the Department of Justice has failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists’ sources, and the State Department has proposed to cut funding for international organizations that help buttress international norms in support of free expression. As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world’s most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.
The CPJ says that Trump’s use of Twitter and his attacks on the media as undermining news outlets when what he has done is take his message directly to the voters.