Though the U.S. Constitution enshrines press freedom in its First Amendment, this right has been under attack in recent years.
In the first year of President Donald Trump’s tenure, the U.S. media climate has continued to deteriorate, resulting in it dropping to 45th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2018 World Press Freedom Index, a press freedom barometer.
In addition to declaring the media an “enemy of the American people,” Trump has attempted to block press access to the White House and regularly uses the term “fake news” in an attempt to delegitimize critical reporting. Continue reading …
This constant anti-press rhetoric from the president has been coupled with an uptick in harassment, arrests and violent attacks against journalists at the local level. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which RSF is a steering committee member, reported 34 arrests and 45 physical attacks against journalists in 2017.