An advocacy group that promotes press freedom worldwide said Monday that President Donald Trump is the worst world leader when it comes to "undermining global press freedom."
The Committee to Protect Journalists released a list of sarcastic awards honoring the worst "Press Oppressors," including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Trump earned top honors in the category for "Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom."
The awards were a response to Trump's "fake news awards." Trump announced last Tuesday on Twitter that he would be naming "the most dishonest & corrupt media awards of the year," given to those outlets which he believed were guilty of "dishonesty and bad reporting." He said this past weekend that he will give out the awards next Wednesday.
"Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump's ‘fake news' epithet, and Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists," the CPJ argued. "As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world's most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high."
The group also named Trump the runner-up in the "Most Thin-skinned" category, behind Erdoğan.
"Since declaring his presidential candidacy in 2015, Trump has posted about 1,000 tweets critical of the press," the group said. "CPJ research shows that when public figures and political leaders lob insults at the media, they encourage self-censorship and expose journalists to unnecessary risk."
The CPJ found that a record high 262 journalists were jailed in relation to their work around the world in 2017, with Turkey, China, and Egypt the leading offenders. None were in the United States.