From an editorial in Sunday’s Washington Post:
The next time someone jokes about “fake news,” stop them in their tracks and remind them that a record number of journalists around the world sit behind bars today for the crime of seeking the truth. In its annual survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 262 journalists are imprisoned for reasons connected to their work, a historic high.
By far the worst offender is Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has launched a wide-ranging crackdown on journalists since the failed coup attempt in July 2016. Turkey has 73 journalists in prison for their work, according to the CPJ.
China also continued to be dangerous territory for inquiring reporters. Forty-one are in prison there for their work, the survey showed. The ruling Communist Party has a history of repressing free speech and punishing journalists and dissidents, but there have also been periods of relative relaxation. Now, under President Xi Jinping, China appears to be heading back toward demanding strict obedience from the media.
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President Donald Trump echoes the rhetoric of despots in these countries with his combative slogan of “fake news.” What’s not fake at all is that journalists everywhere are under increased threat because of rulers who take encouragement from Trump’s malice.