May 24, 2022

UCJ-UNILORIN

Official Website Of Union Of Campus Journalits, University of Ilorin.

Trump’s ‘fake news’ mantra despots at press freedom

2 min read

Authoritarian rulers across the globe are adopting President Donald Trump’s favorite phrase to limit free speech, with prominent leaders or state media in at least 15 countries using his “fake news” line to denounce their critics, according to a POLITICO review.
By aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U.S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights, said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. 
“I’m seeing it more and more,” he said. Trump, he added, “is providing a context and framework for all sorts of authoritarian leaders—or democratic leaders and others who are dissatisfied or upset by critical media coverage—to undermine and discredit reporting.”
In February, for example, Syrian President Bashar Assad brushed off an Amnesty International report that some 13,000 people had been killed at one of his military prisons by saying, “You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.”
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has complained of being “demonized” by “fake news.” Last month, with Trump laughing by his side, he called reporters “spies.”
And in a meta-moment in July, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained to RT, the Russian propaganda outlet, that the world media had “spread lots of false versions, lots of lies” about his country, adding, “This is what we call ‘fake news’ today, isn’t it?”
Over the weekend, a state official in Myanmar attracted notice when he said, “There is no such thing as Rohingya. It is fake news,” referring to the persecuted ethnic group.

UCJ, UNILORIN.

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