President Donald Trump´s  unfounded and systematic attack against the press seeks to silence an essential institution in our democratic society, which mission is focused on providing reliable information that promotes citizen welfare.

Ataques presidenciales dan la espalda a la democracia

Today, about a year and a half after the presidential inauguration, and in response to the outraged call made by The Boston Globe,  we, a large group of media companies, express our firmest rejection of the repeated unjust and untimely attacks made by the President of a nation forged in democracy.

The wrong strategy of labeling as fake news any information that does not please him, and refusing to answer questions from reporters, are part of a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of the sector responsible of ensuring government transparency.

 President Trump‘s behavior is inappropriate and tramples over society. Respecting institutions that sustain democratic life is a presidential duty, since the right to expression and access to information is essential for progress and social peace.

Unfortunately, our society is being threatened from the core of presidential power in Washington. This is a campaign aimed at misrepresenting the press´ work.

These false accusations reached a dangerous tone at a political event in Pennsylvania, when the President pointed to the group of reporters and told his followers that they make "fake, fake disgusting news". He also made an accusation on a social network stating that the press is the enemy of the people, reviving those false allegations of the electoral day.

This hostile rhetoric against the media constitutes a threat to the free circulation of ideas and data for citizen consumption. It is clearly aiming at controlling news content that is not in line with his political interests.

 To condone that the political power undermines respect to freedom of expression, to different opinions and to political dissent means to reduce that citizen power that arises from knowledge and relevant information. For this reason, we firmly condemn the attempt to limit access to accurate information that emerges from professional journalism.

 Seeking reaction and refuting incorrect data do not turn news into lies. Trying to make journalism favor official positions is harmful to the administration itself because it shifts the focus away from important issues for the nation.

 The culture of journalistic oversight produces investigations that dig into the complexities of issues, their causes, effects and possible solutions. Proposals that emerge from the healthy dynamics between the media and public powers result in a society alert and ready to contribute to the construction of its own future.

 Attacks that seek to sow doubts on the verticality of the media and journalists, threaten -on the contrary- the healthy debate and tolerance to dissent that the United States has fought for since it became a free nation.

 The history of the United States and that of other countries show how disastrous these speeches that point to groups because of their racial, ethnic, religious, or other characteristics, have been. The extremes to which these messages lead have plunged thousands into deep pain, and ashamed societies that prided themselves on being democratic.

We come together to demand that President Trump proves his commitment to democratic values, ceasing his systematic hostility against the press that oversees his administration.  Messages of contempt that border on hatred were replicated by members of his cabinet and the political class. That attempt of intimidation is highly dangerous because an attack to press freedom is also an attack on individual freedom of thought in democracy.

 Our rejection of presidential intimidation against the press shows our unwavering commitment to freedom of expression and access to information. We will not remain silent. Today's attack against this group can result in an attack against individuals tomorrow. 

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