Journalism org names Trump top press freedom oppressor — despite real press persecution worldwide

Journalism org names Trump top press freedom oppressor — despite real press persecution worldwide
The Committee to Protect Journalists has named President Donald Trump as its top press oppressor, despite numerous other world leaders who actually work to block the free press in their countries. Meanwhile, real press persecution is going on around the world. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Committee to Protect Journalists has named President Donald Trump winner of its “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom” distinction in its “Press Oppressors” awards.

Uh, what?

The organization on Monday named Trump as the leader who most undermined press freedoms in 2017, despite numerous other world leaders who actually work to block the free press in their countries.

The organization explained the reason they gave Trump the award:

While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as [Chinese President] Xi, [Turkish President] Erdoğan, and [Egyptian President] Sisi.

The organization further explained Trump deserved the award because he has “failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists’ sources” and because other countries have adopted his “‘fake news’ epithet.”

CPJ also blamed Trump’s failure to discuss press freedom with other world leaders as a reason why “the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.”

The organization also gave Trump the runner-up award in the “Most Thin-Skinned” category. He lost to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey.

According to The Hill, the CPJ organized the awards in response to Trump’s upcoming “fake news” awards.

Real press persecution

Meanwhile, journalists in countries hostile to a free press are facing persecution every day around the world.

According to Reporters Without Borders, reporters in all Middle Eastern, Asian, eastern European and most South American, Central American, African and Caribbean countries have a less free press than in America.

Leaders in Turkey, Venezuela Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt and Saudi Arabia allow for very little press freedom, yet their leaders aren’t as oppressive to journalists as Trump, the CJP alleges.

Just last year, Egypt made news for increasing its digital censorship, Venezuela cracked down on its free press amid national tensions and Turkey imprisoned more journalists than any other country.

Journalists just across the border in Mexico are also having an extremely difficult time doing their jobs. In 2017, six reporters were murdered. Their perpetrators were dangerous drug cartels, but with extreme corruption through the Mexican government, its leaders have done very little to stop the killings.