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USA: 350 media organisations publish editorials on freedom of press in response to Trump administration's recurrent attacks on media

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16 August 2018

'Not the enemy': More than 350 newsrooms in the US have banded together to push back against Trump's war on the media

Author: Alexandra Ma, Business Insider (USA)

Hundreds of newspapers across the US have banded together to push back against Donald Trump's attacks on journalists, whom he has often attacked as "fake news" and "an enemy of the people."  Newsrooms ranging in size and political spectrum...published editorials arguing that the president's frequent assaults on the media were unjustified and that journalists were "not the enemy."  The list of participating newsrooms totaled more than 350..., according to the Boston Globe, which launched the initiative...The opinions of newsroom editorial boards are typically separate from their news coverage.  The Globe...noted...that its opinion pages "are completely separate from the news operation," and that the editors of its opinion pages and newsroom "do not coordinate decisions on coverage."  Trump appeared to acknowledge the campaign...saying in a series of tweets that the "fake news media is the opposition party" and accusing journalists of "pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people."  The newsrooms' editorials come two weeks after an Ipsos poll found that almost a third of Americans agreed with the sentence: "The news media is the enemy of the American people."...That trend has deepened under Trump, who has routinely berated newspapers and journalists who published unflattering news about him as "fake news," both on Twitter and in speeches...Some newsrooms have refused to join the Globe's campaign...

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16 August 2018

Global Witness stands with hundreds of US news organizations in support for press freedom

Author: Ava Lee, Global Witness

This morning over 350 media organizations across the US will publish editorials on press freedom in response to President Trump’s concerted efforts to attack them. As an anti-corruption campaign group, investigative journalism is at the heart of what we do and we stand in solidarity with all of them...At Global Witness we have seen these attacks on the press all over the world. In Cambodia, the clamp down on journalists is so extreme that we can only use Facebook to tell the Cambodian people...Just two years ago the political commentator Kem Ley was brutally murdered in broad daylight following an interview where he criticized the ruling elite’s business interests...And the stakes are becoming increasingly high in Europe too. In October, Panama Papers journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered with a car-bomb, mid-way through an investigation into corruption in Malta...Four months later Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée were shot dead in their home while Kuciak wrote a story about money laundering and drug smuggling...In Niger we’ve seen journalists imprisoned without charge for criticizing a finance law that benefits major corporations, while just this week in Nigeria the government froze the bank account of a journalist who refused to disclose the source of his stories into the police service...The out-going UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, described Trump’s campaign against the US media as “very close to incitement of violence”.

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