More than half (57 percent) of U.S. journalists surveyed in a global study say that freedom of the press in the U.S. has deteriorated over the past year.
Cision’s State of the Freedom of the Press report found that things are even worse in several other countries, with 58 percent of respondents in the United Arab Emirates, 64 percent in Germany and France, and 67 percent in Brazil saying they thought freedom of the press has deteriorated in their countries over the past year.
Surprisingly, in Mexico, which ranked far lower on the Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom Index (at 144 out of 180 countries) than did Brazil (#105) or the U.S. (#48), opinions about the state of press freedom were less negative, with only 50 percent saying those freedoms had eroded.
Overall, 49 percent of the 1,999 journalists surveyed said that press freedoms have taken a downturn.
In the U.S., a significant portion of respondents (40 percent) said they believe freedom of the press will deteriorate further in the next three years.
A related concern for journalists in the U.S. was a loss of public trust in the media. Almost seven out of 10 U.S. respondents (69 percent) said that public trust has dwindled over the past year. But as negative as that sounds, it is a significant improvement over the 78 percent who made the same statement last year.
When it comes to safety, U.S. journalists see a bigger threat than do many of their peers around the world. Globally, 36 percent of respondents said that journalist safety was a major concern. That number rises to 42 percent in the U.S.
But despite the hurdles they face, most of the survey respondents have not changed the way they present the news. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) say they don’t feel they’ve had to alter their tone or language.
The State of the Freedom of the Press report consists of previously unpublished findings from Cision’s 2019 State of the Media study. To see the full report, click here.