Donald Trump named world's most oppressive leader toward press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists

US President wins the award for threatening to 'open-up' libel laws, sue news outlets and subject broadcast licenses to review

Wednesday 10 January 2018 12:10
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CPJ names Donald Trump the world's most oppressive leader toward press freedom

Donald Trump has been named the world’s most oppressive leader towards press freedom by the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ).

The US president was given the award for threatening to “open-up” libel laws, sue news outlets and subject broadcast licenses to review.

He has also posted approximately 1,000 tweets that have been critical of the press since he announced his presidential candidacy in 2015.

He has also invented a number of nicknames for media outlets he perceives as critical.

Last week Mr Trump announced plans to hold his own “Fake News Awards”.

Taking to Twitter the US leader promised to proclaim the “most dishonest and corrupt” media organisation, while insisting said the was “interest” in the awards was "far greater than anyone could have anticipated."

But after initially promising to announce the winner earlier this week, he postponed them until 17 January.

In response, the CPJ created a series of tongue in cheek awards for "world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media”,

While Mr Trump was awarded most oppressive leader, he had to settle for second place in the “most thin-skinned” category, behind the Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan also won the award for "Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press."

"Turkey is the world's worst jailer of journalists, with at least 73 behind bars when CPJ conducted its most recent prison census on December 1," the organisation wrote.

" Every journalist jailed for their work in Turkey is under investigation for, or charged with, anti-state crimes -- in most cases for belonging to, aiding, or making propaganda for an alleged terrorist organisation."

Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, won the "Tightest Grip on the Media" award. The CPJ said he used "a combination of traditional censorship and internet controls to keep the news media in line".

Other leaders mentioned, included Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Burma’s State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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