The International Federation of Journalists has called on incoming US President Donald Trump to stop attacking the media as it emphasised the importance of “trustworthy” journalism over next four years.
The charity group, which represents 600,000 members in 140 countries, said it had been “deeply concerned” about clashes between Trump and the press, including intimidation and threats against journalists, media bans and proposals to amend libel laws.
Following the release of a dossier that contained lurid and unverified claims about Trump, the President-Elect used a press conference to call CNN, who first reported it, “fake news” and Buzfeed, who published the entire unedited dossier online, a “failing pile of garbage”.
IFJ President Philippe Leruth 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.”
The IFJ also reminded journalists writing about Trump to abide by “strong ethical standards”.
Added Leruth: “Fair, non-discriminatory reporting is essential to our media’s credibility. 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 four years and we wish our colleagues reporting on the ground strength, luck and solidarity”.
Pictures: Reuters/Mike Segar