The United States’ ranking for press freedom declined last year, driven in part by Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media, which also triggered a decline in other democracies, an international media organization said Wednesday.
Reporters Without Borders, which compiles the World Press Freedom Index based on its assessment of the legal environment and government threats to journalists, ranked the United States 43rd out of 180 nations. It finished two spots lower than a year ago, ranking just behind Burkina Faso and just ahead of Comoros.
“The election of the 45th president of the United States set off a witchhunt against journalists,” the group said in an analysis of its data. “Donald Trump’s repeated diatribes against the Fourth Estate and its representatives – accusing them of being ‘among the most dishonest human beings on earth’ and of deliberately spreading ‘fake news’ – compromise a long U.S. tradition of defending freedom of expression.”
It added that Trump’s “hate speech” helped unleash attacks on the media “almost everywhere in the world,” including in countries with long democratic traditions, such as Britain, France, and Italy. » Read More