WATCH: Meryl Streep thanks the press for being the 'enemy of the bad people'

She was speaking at the annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York

WATCH: Meryl Streep thanks the press for being the 'enemy of the bad people'

Meryl Streep | Image via @pressfreedom on Twitter

US actress Meryl Streep has thanked members of the press for being 'the enemy of the bad people'.

The multiple Academy Award winner was speaking at the 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York.

Streep has been an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump and his approach to press freedom. 

Speaking to an audience of journalists on Wednesday, Streep said: "I really came here tonight to thank you, that's all - really - thank you.

"Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

"You are the fourth estate, you're our first line of defence against tyranny and state-sanctioned news.

"Thank you, you intrepid, underpaid, overextended, trolled and un-extolled, young and old, battered and bold, bought and sold, hyper-alert, crack-caffeine fiends.

"You're gorgeous, you're ambitious, contrarian, fiery, dogged and determined bulls**t detectives.

"You're persevering, cool, objective, indefatigable, chronically fatigued, pharmaceutically soothed, chocolate-comforted Twitter clickers."

In a clear reference to Mr Trump's attacks on the press, Ms Streep said: "You are the enemy of the people - yeah, just the bad people".


Journalists from Cameroon, Mexico, Thailand and Yemen were honoured at the event.

The evening's host, CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, reminded guests of the importance of leadership on press freedom, saying: "We need the US to be a beacon - a defender, not a destroyer, of First Amendment values everywhere.

"The brave journalists we honour tonight certainly think so. They have paid dearly, some with their lives or liberty, to report the news."

 CNN host Christiane Amanpour speaks at the awards | Image via @pressfreedom on Twitter

Amanpour added: "The good news is that despite being targeted with that red hot branding iron of fake news, some of the best journalism has taken place and has been produced this year.

"Whether it's on cable, on broadcast, in print, online - because our profession has actually risen magnificently to the challenge.

"And we won't be cast out into the wilderness, and we will remain as relevant as ever, if not more relevant than ever.

"And far from being Trump's vaunted 'enemies of the American people', we have in fact proved to be the people's best friend".