The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) releases its annual report and partly holds the Presidency of Donald Trump for its all-time record-breaking number of 262 journalists jailed for reporting the news in 2017 as of Dec. 1. The countries leading the pack are Turkey, China, and Egypt ranking as the top three most repressive against media.
It also reported that 37 journalists were killed while on duty. Mexico ranking as one of the most dangerous for its unwillingness to prosecute and solve the murders of the dozens of journalists killed the past decade
in May, CPJ met with the president of Mexico to discuss the overwhelming impunity in the murders of Mexican journalists. Unfortunately, just over a week later, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, our 2011 International Press Freedom Award winner, would be shot dead at his home and no charges or arrests have been made in this case.
CPJ believes that there is a correlation between the White House battle with the national press, branding it as the enemy of the people and “fake news” when it is displeased with the coverage. In fact, it believes the Trump Administration has encouraged the repression of the press worldwide, and no longer stands for freedom of the press as part of the democratic process.
Joel Simon, CPJ’s Executive Director wrote in the report:
As press freedom challenges have mounted domestically, the U.S. has been unwilling or simply unable to stand up for press freedom abroad. The rhetoric from the White House threatens to undermine the rights of journalists and delegitimize journalism itself.
In CPJ’s view, Donald Trump’s ” Make America Great” nationalist campaigning and rhetorics, its relentless attacks on the media as “fake news” provide a cover for legal charges and the jailing of journalists.
The group counted 21 journalists jailed after they were charged with distributing “fake news.”
Over the years CPJ has also been active in the United States.
In 1994, the Committee published a report on the murders of immigrant journalists in the U.S. In 2013, we published a major report on press freedom under former President Barack Obama. Throughout, we have engaged with the U.S. government on issues that include surveillance, protection of sources, and prosecution of whistleblowers. But the situation is different today, in many ways unprecedented. Since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, his rhetoric and that of his administration have cast a chill on the media environment. On Twitter in February, he called the media “the enemy of the American people.” In May, he laughed after the head of Homeland Security joked that he could use a ceremonial saber on journalists. And at an August rally in Phoenix, the president called journalists “sick people” and “liars” who “make up stories” and “don’t report the facts.”, according to CPJ.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is located in New York, 330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY10001.