The Associated Press published an article today suggesting that criticizing journalists was a form of “hate speech”.
In a piece entitled Hatred of journalists on the rise worldwide, watchdog says, the AP cites a report by Reporters Without Borders which concludes that people like Donald Trump are to blame for encouraging hostility towards the media.
Citing the group’s concern that leaders in democratic countries “no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning,” the article then suggested that journalists were victims of hate speech.
“Hate speech targeting journalists is amplified on social networks by government-friendly trolls in India, Russia and elsewhere,” states the article.
The “hate speech” designation is somewhat bizarre as the term usually only applies to religious, ethnic or racial groups.
While the article blames Trump, trust in mainstream media was plummeting years before he even announced he was running as president.
Is this another trial balloon to chill free speech? Respondents in the comments section were not impressed.
“Trump is only expressing our long held beliefs,” remarked one.
“For the most part, in the US anyway, they are not reporters any more. They have become political hacks,” added another.
“If the “journalists” would stop trying to “change” the world, and just report the news like they are supposed to they probably wouldn’t be hated so much,” commented another respondent.
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