In response to President Donald Trump's upcoming "Fake News" Awards, the Committee to Protect Journalists has devised an awards list of its own: the "Press Oppressors" awards.
Making the Top 5? Our very own Donald Trump.
Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump's announcement via Twitter about his planned "fake news" awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.
While snagging only a runner-up spot for the category "Most Thin-Skinned", coming in behind Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trump managed to score a win for "Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom":
The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. 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 Xi, Erdoğan, and Sisi. Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump's "fake news" epithet, and Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists. Under Trump's administration, the Department of Justice has failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists' sources, and the State Department has proposed to cut funding for international organizations that help buttress international norms in support of free expression.
As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world's most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.