IFJ warns President Trump against threats to press freedom

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to the media at Trump Tower January 9, 2017 in New York.

As US incoming president Donald Trump prepared for his inauguration the IFJ has called on him to stop attacking the media and respect freedom of expression as a fundamental right.  

The IFJ has been deeply concerned about a number of clashes between Donald Trump and the press throughout the presidential campaign and beyond, including a series of intimidations and threats against journalists, hateful comments, media bans and proposals to amend libel laws.  

“The journalists’ community holds Donald Trump accountable for his actions as President of the USA and we call on him to abide by core freedom of expression standards that are fundamental to his country’s democracy and its First Amendment rights, “ said IFJ President Philippe Leruth. “We ask President Trump to respect the basic right for US citizens and the rest of the world to be properly and independently informed. The new president not only has a responsibility towards his own national press but also towards the foreign media and citizens across the world.”  

The IFJ reminds journalists covering news in the US to abide by strong ethical standards such as those incorporated in the IFJ Code of Principles.  

“ Fair, non-discriminatory reporting is essential to our media’s credibility,” said Leruth. “It is journalists’ role to challenge authority and it is also their role to abide by core ethical principles. The presidential campaign coverage in the USA illustrated how important unbiased, fact-checked reporting is. Trustworthy journalism will be essential in the upcoming 4 years and we wish our colleagues reporting on the ground strength, luck and solidarity”.

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