first_imgUS President Donald Trump. File photoThe Trump administration should “act as a champion of press freedom”, a senior member of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Saturday, rather than prosecute a war with mainstream US media, reports The Guardian.Quoting CPJ, it cautioned that such war could “send a signal to other countries that it is OK to verbally abuse journalists and undermine their credibility”.Trump’s attacks on the press do not “help our work trying to deal with countries like Turkey, Ethiopia or Venezuela, where you have governments who want to nothing more than to silence and intimidate the press,” Rob Mahoney, deputy executive director of the CPJ, was quoted to have told the Guardian.Mahoney also said attempts to favour conservative press outlets and declare the mainstream media the “enemy of the American people” looked like a deliberate effort by the White House to “inoculate itself from criticism”.“Any time the press now uncovers an scandal or wrongdoing the administration can dismiss it as false,” he reportedly said.On Friday, the Trump administration blocked a number of media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN and the Guardian, from an off-camera briefing with press secretary Sean Spicer.As reported, Spicer later said the White House planned to “aggressively push back” against the press. “We’re just not going to sit back and let false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there,” he said.Lee Glendinning, editor of Guardian US, said: “This is a deeply troubling and divisive act. Holding power to account is an essential part of the democratic process, and that’s exactly what the Guardian will continue to do.”last_img

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