UN experts say Trump's attacks on media increase risk of violence against journalists

Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, has said she doesn't believe the media is "the enemy of the people"

UN experts say Trump's attacks on media increase risk of violence against journalists

Donald Trump. Picture by: Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

UN experts have slammed Donald Trump's criticism of the media, warning that it increases the risk of journalists being attacked.

David Kaye and Edison Lanza - who serve as Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression for the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights - called on the Trump administration to cease efforts to undermine the media.

In a statement, they said: "His attacks are strategic, designed to undermine confidence in reporting and raise doubts about verifiable facts.

"These attacks run counter to the country’s obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law. We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence."

The statement was released during a week that saw a fresh focus on Trump's frequent criticism of the press and media.

At an event hosted by US news organisation Axios, President Trump's daughter Ivanka said she doesn't believe the media is "the enemy of the people" - an accusation that has been levelled by her father.

In a tweet, the US President moved to clarify his own stance - saying a "large percentage of the media" is "fake news".

On Wednesday, CNN reporter Jim Acosta shared a video showing a number of Trump supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida yelling insults at members of the media.

In a White House press conference yesterday, Mr Acosta repeatedly asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders whether she too believed the press was the 'enemy of the people' - but she refused to say whether she agreed with the statement.

Following a meeting with the US President, New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger last Sunday released a statement saying he had implored Trump to "reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country".