Following the reported killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the slaying of Bulgarian reporter Viktoria Marinova, many are questioning the international treatment of the media.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 63 journalists have been killed in 2018 so far. Out of those, 27 are motive-confirmed murders.
President Trump has often criticized news organizations. He recently praised Rep. Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter during his campaign in May.
“Any guy that could do a body slam, he’s my kind of… He’s my guy,” Trump said.
The president has also frequently used nicknames like “the failing New York Times,” has referred to CNN as the “Clinton News Network,” and has even called media the “enemy of the American people.”
Last June, a shooter stormed into a local newspaper in Annapolis, Md., and killed five staff members. The gunman had a long-standing conflict with the Capital Gazette and had even sued journalists for defamation and waged a social media campaign against them.
In Afghanistan, the press is sometimes deliberately targeted by suicide bombers. Back in April, a bomber disguised himself as a media worker and then detonated his bomb while surrounded by reporters.
Meanwhile, Russia, North Korea, and Mexico continue to persecute journalists who speak out. Russia imprisoned five journalists last year for being critical of Putin.
According to a recent Gallup web survey, more than 60 percent of Americans think the news is biased, while 44 percent think it’s inaccurate.
It seems like the only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the “spread of inaccurate information on the internet is a problem,” as another Gallup poll reported.
“Fake news” was rampant on social media during the 2016 presidential election. With midterms looming, Facebook has set up a “war room” within its Silicon Valley headquarters. There, employees huddle trying to combat fake accounts and hoax news stories that could affect the upcoming election.
Despite everything, a Gallup poll earlier this year indicated that 84 percent of Americans still believe the media is “either critical or very important to our democracy.”
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