Bad times for press freedom around the world

epa03218837 A Lebanese photographer runs for cover during armed clashes in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, 14 May 2012. Media reports state that fighting resumed in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli early on 14 May between members of the Alawite minority loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and members of the Sunni majority. According to local radio one person was killed and others were wounded. On 13 May, four people were killed and 10 others wounded in similar clashes in Lebanon, prompting fears the conflict was spilling over into Syria's neighbor. EPA/NABIL MOUNZER

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An annual report by Freedom House said press freedom saw notable declines in Europe. It said press freedom is declining around the world, with democratic governments joining authoritarian regimes in seeking to suppress independent journalism. The report also said that US President Donald Trump’s vilification of the press has “seriously exacerbated an ongoing erosion of public confidence in the mainstream media.”

The impact of Trump’s effort has been to undermine free press because journalists around the world now have less reason to believe that Washington will come to their aid if their rights are violated,” Freedom House said.

See full report here


Freedom House said that there is a populist trend in which leaders present themselves as “defenders of an aggrieved majority” and seek to discredit independent media and suppress open debate.

Modest gains in press freedom were seen in countries where democracy is strengthening including Ethiopia, Malaysia, Ecuador and Gambia, the report said.






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