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Reporters Without Borders released their annual index on press freedom around the globe, examining 180 countries. What they discovered was that a growing animosity towards journalists poses a serious threat to democratic values. RSF believes the hostility towards the media is spurred by political leaders who no longer see journalists as an essential part of democracy.
The United States, the Philippines and Hungary all fell further down the index from 2017. The US dropped two spots to 45th, in part, because of President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to discredit members of the press. Trump routinely uses the term “fake news” when discussing reports by the media. It’s a similar state of affairs in the Philippines, although President Rodrigo Duterte’s rhetoric against the media is more violent. Duterte, like Trump, insults reporters, but has also warned journalists that they “are not exempted from assassination”. Earlier this year, he revoked the licence of one of the Philippines leading news organizations, Rappler, a publication that’s been fiercely critical of the president. And in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been accused of “reshaping Hungary’s media landscape” through intimidation and economic pressures.
So what can be done to protect press freedom in these countries, and across the globe? We’ll pose that question to a group of journalists on this episode of The Stream.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Margaux Ewen @MargauxEwen
North America Director, Reporters Without Borders
Journalist, Heti Valasz
Natashya Gutierrez @natashya_g
South East Asia Correspondent, Rappler
Mike Faulk @Mike_Faulk
The history of fake news in America- The Atlantic
A 'fraught time' for press freedom in the Philippines - NPR
Inside Europe: Concern over press freedom in Hungary - DW
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