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SPJ is alarmed by Trump’s anti-democratic speech


12/8/2023


SPJ is alarmed by Trump’s anti-democratic speech

CONTACT:
Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Coordinator, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is alarmed by the Trump campaign’s latest threats against journalists and the media. Former President Donald Trump has been escalating his anti-democratic speech on the campaign trail.

During a town hall on “Fox News” Tuesday, Sean Hannity asked former President Trump “to say categorically that he would not abuse presidential power and retaliate against his political opponents if elected next year.” Trump declined to give an explicit denial. Two of Trump’s former advisers recently warned members of the media that they are going to exact revenge if Trump gets re-elected. Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) demanded that the Department of Justice investigate a Washington Post journalist who called for “resistance” in an op-ed should Trump be re-elected.

“SPJ believes an independent and free press is solidly at the foundations of our Democracy. Journalists have always played an important role in the history and stability of this country by holding elected officials and government agencies to account. While we have heard former President Trump’s threats and vile commentary before, it remains no less concerning,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “We urge Americans – regardless of political allegiance – to condemn this kind of anti-democratic rhetoric from the former president or any other political figure.”

Trump previously discussed arresting journalists during a 2022 rally. During his term in office, the U.S. saw a decline in press freedom according to the World Press Freedom Index and a record-breaking number of journalists were arrested.

As we approach 2024, SPJ needs the help of journalists and everyday Americans to stand together in the fight for information, open government, a free press and free speech.

“SPJ is committed to continue fighting for journalists and the journalism industry at this critical turning point,” Blaize-Hopkins added. “Without the hard work of journalists across the country, Democracy will die in darkness. It is up to all of us to ensure that does not happen.”

SPJ counts thousands of journalists nationwide and globally among its membership and invites all journalists to join as a professional, student or retired member. Everyone else may become an SPJ Supporter, showing the world that the foundations of democracy are of the utmost importance to you.

Additionally, the SPJ Legal Defense Fund is set aside to assist journalists across the country tangled in legal battles while fighting for the public's right to know. The First Amendment Forever Fund helps fight, advocate and lobby for press freedom. Now is the time to support these funds to fight for and protect the First Amendment and a free press.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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