Press Freedom threatened by arrests, detainments, lawsuits, physical violence

Benjamin Mullin, Poynter, April 28, 2017

The press freedom situation in the United States is worsening not only because of President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric but because of a constellation of factors including arrests, detainment, lawsuits, physical violence and outright censorship, according to a new report.

The report, released by the London-based Index on Censorship this week, chronicles the recent threats to journalist safety and freedom of expression and takes a holistic view of a worsening press freedom climate.

“Smears about the media made by U.S. President Donald Trump have obscured a wider problem with press freedom in the United States: namely widespread and low-level animosity that feeds into the everyday working lives of the nation’s journalists, bloggers and media professionals,” reads the introduction to the report. “This study examines documented reports from across the country in the six months leading up to the presidential inauguration and the months after. It clearly shows that threats to U.S. press freedom go well beyond the Oval Office.”

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