The report, “The Trump Administration and the Media,” examines stepped-up prosecutions of news sources, interference in the financial independence of some media owners, and the harassment of journalists, particularly at U.S. borders. It shows how the White House’s approach has emboldened authoritarian leaders to silence the press in their own countries.
“Journalists in the U.S. have been largely undeterred by the daily barrage of pressure, insults, and abuse emanating from President Trump,” said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director. “But the president’s attacks on the media have had an impact. They have undermined public trust in journalism as an institution, a dangerous place to find ourselves in the midst of a public health emergency. And they have empowered autocrats around the world who are cracking down on press freedom with unbridled ferocity at a time when truthful information is more than ever a precious commodity.”
The report includes a set of recommendations for the administration, including standing up publicly for press freedom, refraining from actions discrediting the media, improving information accessibility, and ending the practice of bringing espionage charges against those accused of leaking sensitive information to journalists. CPJ today sent a letter to the White House with a copy of the report, recommendations, and a request for a meeting.