Under President Donald Trump, the United States has dropped two places in Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 World Press Freedom Index, and the group minces no words in declaring that “Trump exacerbates press freedom’s steady decline” in America.
The U.S. fell to number 45 in this year's ranking.
US press freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment to the 1787 constitution, has been under increasing attack over the past few years, and the first year of President Donald J. Trump’s presidency has fostered further decline in journalists’ right to report.
He has declared the press an “enemy of the American people” in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempted to block White House access to multiple media outlets, and routinely uses the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting. He has even called for revoking certain media outlets’ broadcasting licenses.
This “violent anti-press rhetoric from the highest level of the US government” has been met by curbed freedoms at the local level as well, the report notes, with journalists facing the threat of arrest for covering protests and even suffering physical assault while doing their jobs.