Group 'awards' Donald Trump for undermining global press freedom

The CPJ has named what it describes as global press oppressors

Group 'awards' Donald Trump for undermining global press freedom

US President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with legislators on immigration reform in the Cabinet Room of the White House | Image: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

A press freedom organisation has 'awarded' Donald Trump the title of "Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom".

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) say this is in response to the US president's 'Dishonest and corrupt media awards'.

The CPJ has named what it describes as global press oppressors - world leaders who "use rhetoric, legal action, and censorship to try to silence their critics".

The list features leaders from China, Egypt, Myanmar, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.

The group claims they have "gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media".

CPJ advocacy director Courtney Radsch said: "It's staggering to see the extent to which some world leaders are so fearful of their critics and the truth.

"At a time when the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high the failure of President Donald Trump and other leaders to stand up for press freedom risks weakening democracy and human rights."

On Mr Trump, the CPJ says: "While previous US presidents have each criticised 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, Erdogan, and Sisi.

"Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump's "fake news" epithet, and Erdogan 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 organisations 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."

The list includes four categories, as well as an award for the Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom:

Most Thin-skinned
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
Runner-Up: President Donald Trump, United States

Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
Runner-Up: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt

Tightest Grip on Media*
President Xi Jinping, China
Runner-Up: President Vladimir Putin, Russia
*This category excludes countries with no independent media, such as North Korea and Eritrea.

Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom
State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar
Runner-Up: President Andrzej Duda, Poland

Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom
President Donald Trump, United States

The full list can be viewed here