CIJ Statement on US Daily Press Briefing

    The CIJ is extremely worried by the news on Friday that President Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, had locked major media outlets out of the daily press briefing. This included CNN, the New York Times, the Guardian, and the BBC.

    A free and critical press is vital to upholding democracy, and governments picking and choosing who to give access to based on their support for that government is a first step towards authoritarianism. Governments that feel they are flexing their executive muscle in this regard only reveal deep weakness and insecurity.

    President Trump's comments that the American media are the "enemy of the American people" are also deeply worrying. The rhetoric which is pitting the press as the outsider and at odds with the people, if normalised, will make moves to criminalise journalism and journalists much easier to enact.

    It must be combated now.