According to a new report by an international press freedom organization, the United States has become a less safe place for journalists. Threats they are facing are becoming the standard.
On the annual World Press Freedom Index, US was dropped to number 48 out of 180 countries by Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders. The country has been downgraded from a “satisfactory” place to work freely to a “problematic” country for the journalists.
The report stated, “Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection.”
This year 10 journalists were attacked while since 2017, 46 journalists have been attacked. Also, just back in January, a reporter was punched in the face, her phone was stolen as she was conducting an interview of voters in California.
In the report, the finger was also pointed at President Trump for “exacerbates” press freedom problems by repeatedly declaring journalists as “enemy of the American people.”
RSF Interim Executive Director Sabine Dolan tells NPR, “The president’s relentless attacks against the press has created an environment where verbal, physical and online threats and assault against journalists are becoming normalized.”
She said, “Even before President Trump, the Obama administration was aggressively using the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute more whistleblowers than any previous administration combined.”