The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on January 20, 2017 called on Donald Trump, then President-Elect of United States of America, to stop attacking the media and respect freedom of expression as a fundamental right, as he prepared for his inauguration.
IFJ expressed deep concerns about a number of clashes between Donald Trump and the press throughout the presidential campaign and beyond, including a series of intimidations and threats against journalists, hateful comments, media bans and proposals to amend libel laws.
Philippe Leruth, IFJ President, said: “The journalists’ community holds Donald Trump accountable for his actions as President of the USA and we call on him to abide by core freedom of expression standards that are fundamental to his country’s democracy and its First Amendment rights“
“We ask President Trump to respect the basic right for US citizens and the rest of the world to be properly and independently informed.The new president not only has a responsibility towards his own national press but also towards the foreign media and citizens across the world.”
IFJ advised journalists covering news in the US to abide by strong ethical standards such as those incorporated in the IFJ Code of Principles.
Leruth reminded journalists that: “Fair, non-discriminatory reporting is essential to our media’s credibility”, adding: “It is journalists’ role to challenge authority and it is also their role to abide by core ethical principles. The presidential campaign coverage in the USA illustrated how important unbiased, fact-checked reporting is. Trustworthy journalism will be essential in the upcoming 4 years and we wish our colleagues reporting on the ground strength, luck and solidarity”.