Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


RSF Calls On President-elect Biden To Take An Immediate Stand For Press Freedom

With Joseph Biden now projected to win the US presidential race, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the President-elect to act immediately to begin to reverse the extensive damage done to the US’ press freedom record during Donald Trump’s presidency.

In the wake of a historic election, RSF calls on President-elect Biden to take an immediate stand to protect press freedom and the safety of journalists at home and abroad by supporting the Press Freedom Pact. Following four years of steady deterioration of the US’ press freedom record, hostility towards the media has never been worse in a US electoral context - and has resulted too often in real-life violence and aggression. To address these alarming trends, RSF called on candidates from all parties to affirm their commitment to protect press freedom; dozens have signed on so far.

“The world will be closely watching President-elect Biden’s next steps, and we urge him to seize this opportunity to take a stand for press freedom. There has never been a more crucial time for strong leadership to address the extensive damage that has been done to the US’ press freedom record - starting by sending a clear signal that violence and aggression towards the media will no longer be tolerated, and taking steps to begin to restore safeguards for press freedom, which is vital to American democracy,” said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

After detailing extensive press freedom concerns during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, when the results came in from the November 2016 elections, RSF called on him to respect press freedom in the presidency. Instead, he used the office to attack journalists, spread disinformation, and steadily erode the US’ position of international leadership on press freedom - which has served to weaken protections for press freedom globally.

Trump’s hostile rhetoric towards the press - whom he has labelled as “enemies of the people” - contributed to an environment of real-life violence for journalists. In June 2018, a shooter opened fire on the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland, killing five people (including four journalists) and injuring two others.

This year, journalists across the country faced extensive aggression and violence while covering Black Lives Matter protests. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker - of which RSF is a partner - has tallied more than 880 aggressions towards the press in 2020 alone. At least 37 incidents were tracked against journalists while reporting on the elections.

The United States is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.