Freedom of the press in the United States is legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the freedom of the press in the United States has certain restrictions, such as deformation law, a lack of protection of whistleblowers, barriers to information access and constrains caused by public hostility to journalists. The United States is ranked below most other Western nations.
The World Press Freedom Index has ranked the United States 48th among the 180 nations and territories it surveyed. Since 2018 the U.S ranking has fallen by two spots, continuing a downward trend that started in 2016 – the same year Donald Trump was elected. Press freedom has continued to decline in USA, as well as rhetorical attacks from the government have been increasing. Through several media platforms and public speeches, president Trump discredits critical reporting, continuing to declare the press as the “enemy of the American people” and “fake news”. The Trump administration has also repeatedly attempted to deny journalists access to events of public interest, denying reporters access to open-press White House events and even revoking several reporters press-passes. The United States has fallen to the ranks of countries whose treatment of the press is considered “problematic.”