July 9, 2019

US – #WeeklyAddress: July 1 – July 7: President Trump breaks personal record for attacking press on Twitter

Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of July 1 – July 7:

Trump tweeted record number of anti-press messages in June

President Trump disparaged the press on Twitter 25 out of 30 days last month, a record streak for his presidency. The last time Trump tweeted against the press to this extent was in December 2015, prior to his election. Last month’s anti-press tweets ranged from direct attacks on news outlets, including calling NBC and MSNBC “FAKE NEWS Organization[s],” to vague accusations against US media as a whole, in which he claimed “the Phony Witch Hunt and the Fake News Media” have negatively affected his polling. The president continued this streak Sunday with a stream of tweets aimed at Fox News, an outlet he has notoriously preferred, for unfavorable coverage.




Utah court deliberates over reporters’ rights to private university’s police records

A coalition of press freedom organizations submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on June 28 to bolster a Salt Lake City newspaper’s case to make a private college comply with Freedom of Information Act requests. The college, Bringham Young University, has refused to release campus police documents since the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper requested them in 2016. Although Utah recently enacted a bill that requires all private universities to comply with FOIA requests, BYU continues to resist the Salt Lake Tribune’s request by claiming the bill cannot be applied retroactively. Utah is one of the 43 states where state law does not require private college police that accept state law enforcement authority to make their records public.

The United States ranks 48th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index

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