The United States is now “problematic.” Although this conclusion might refer to a variety of suboptimal conditions, the international journalistic advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) applied it to the way in which Americans treat members of the Fourth Estate. In this year’s index of press freedoms, the United States has fallen to 48 out of 180 nations when it comes to freedom of the press.
“Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection,” RSF’s press release read. American reporters operate in a “hostile climate” that owes much to the president’s anti-media antagonism. “President Donald J. Trump’s presidency has fostered further decline in journalists’ right to report,” America’s ignominious profile read. Reporters are subject to arrest or even “physical assault” just for doing their jobs. By way of examples to support this conclusion, however, RSF relies primarily on the murder of four journalists at the Capital Gazette in Maryland last year. “The gunman had repeatedly expressed his hatred for the paper on social networks before ultimately acting on his words,” the organization revealed.