Today hundreds of US news organizations are participating in the Boston Globe's press freedom initiative. The Globe challenged editorial boards across the nation to publish op-eds promoting freedom of the press.
The campaign is in direct response to statements made by Donald Trump where he described the press as the "enemy of the people".
The initiative is being organized under the hashtag "#PressFreedom".
Trump has stated that the Boston Globe "colluded with other papers" in some kind of political conspiracy to denigrate the current residents of the White House.
"There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people..."
Meanwhile, bomb threats were called in to the Boston Globe today, presumably as a result of it's editorial against Donald Trump. Boston cops were stationed inside the lobby and police patrols were increased outside the Globe building as the result of several threats delivered via phone.
The FBI is currently investigating the incidents.
What Trump fails to admit is the fact that his anti-press rhetoric actually incites some fanatics to threaten or commit acts of violence. His statements are not only unsupportive of a free press; it also encourages the use of intimidation and bullying as a way to silence his critics.
The role of a free press has been seriously challenged under the Trump administration. His verbal attacks on the press are a reflection of his desire to silence the critics of his policies, including journalists, Democrats, #MeToo activists, or members of the #resistance to his neo-fascist alt-right policies towards immigration.
Yes, Donald, there is a lot of fake news out there, but it's main promoter is the conservative Fox News network, not the Boston Globe!
By the way, Reporters Without Borders currently ranks the USA as 45th in the world in terms of press freedom…
Here are a few of the reasons why our press freedom ranking has dropped again this year:
1) Trump's virulent attacks on the press using social media networks
2) Monopolization of US media by a small handful of mega corporations
3) Increase in government secrecy
You can read all about it at the 2018 World Press Freedom Index report:
I am Editor for Press Freedom at Democracy Watch News. As a reporter and editor living in this country I am not proud of the precipitous drop in our ranking over the last two decades. We can and must do better!
The United States was the first country to ensconce the notion of freedom of the press in their national constitution. The First Amendment is perhaps the world's most important historical protection of the rights of people to criticize their own government. It must be protected, empowered and promoted.
Any attempt to weaken the Fourth Estate is an attack on our representative democracy. Dissent and criticism must be allowed to thrive in a free society.
Without a free press there is no democracy!
I believe it is the obligation of every reporter, editor, publisher, blogger and citizen journalist to stand up for freedom of the press. We must make it a top priority to cover press freedom issues in the US and around the globe.
There are many excellent NGO's dedicated to eliminating abuses against the press. These organizations advocate for the rights of journalists and document the number of reporters imprisoned and killed.
Reporters Without Borders https://rsf.org/en
Committee To Protect Journalists https://cpj.org
Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press https://rcfp.org
US Press Freedom Tracker https://pressfreedomtracker.us
I call upon all members of the press to stand up for freedom of the press.
It is our duty to make sure that the people have a voice to speak out against authoritarian regimes!