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Nov 12 2018

Trump’s war on media bring dangers facing  journalist in Turkey, China into focus - FT

The dangers facing journalists in countries such as Turkey, China and Russia have placed last week’s confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta into dismal perspective, the Financial Times wrote.

The White House’s has deprived Acosta of his press pass — alleging he had manhandled an intern following a verbal spat with Trump -  however the justification of U.S. officials looked ‘’manufactured and unconvincing,’’ the article said.

 

 

The U.S. president calls journalists the “enemy of the people,”  in his ongoing crusade against journalists, inadvertently offering dictators a new vocabulary for dealing with the media, the newspaper stressed.

‘’Faced with an inconvenient fact or an awkward line of questioning, everyone now knows to wave it away as “fake news,’’’ it noted.

Oddly, the Financial Times underlined, the journalists who are most endangered by Trump’s attacks on the media are those outside the United States as journalists in authoritarian countries have traditionally looked to the United States as an example and for support.

The year 2017 set a new high for the number of journalists in prison around the world — with Turkey, China and Egypt named as “the world’s worst jailers” of journalists, the article highlighted, citing the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Turkish authorities have detained more than 142,000 people in the crackdown following the failed July 2016 coup, arresting at least 319 journalists. 

In the Hungary and the Philippines — two democracies with Trump-like populists in charge — charges that could lead to prominent journalists being sent to prison were announced last week, the Financial times noted, adding that in Saudi Arabia, it is evident that Riyadh ‘’miscalculated’’ the international reaction to the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi killing. 

While ‘’American reporters can still watch events in real autocracies with a reasonable certainty that — however bad things get in the US — they will never descend to the level of Russia, Saudi Arabia or Turkey,’’ the Financial Times said,  the Acosta affair has cast a shadow over press freedoms.