Obama praises frontline journalists who fight 'disinformation'

May 5, 2023

Former President Barack Obama shared a video on Wednesday to share his encouragement to journalists seeking to fight against so-called disinformation.

Obama released the video as he recorded a presentation for World Press Day.

The video

"Journalists have always been on the front lines of struggles for democracy, and some of you have the scars to prove it," Obama said.

"And that’s why it’s so important to find creative ways to reinvigorate quality journalism. It’s why we need to keep standing up for the rights of journalists around the world, many of whom are facing increasing threats and challenges just trying to do their jobs," he added in the video.

The irony

"Though Obama praised journalists for their impact on democracy, his administration was criticized for an 'unprecedented' number of prosecutions of government sources as well as seizures of journalists' records," Fox News reported.

"In the Obama administration's Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press," former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. wrote in a 2015 report on U.S. press freedoms under the Obama administration, according to the report.

"The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate," it added.

The video also comes as the 2024 presidential campaign begins to heat up, with accusations about misinformation from the 2020 campaign remaining an issue.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump could face a potential rematch of the hotly contested previous election, offering another emphasis on what is considered misinformation.

Trump claimed the 2020 election was rigged, while Biden's campaign argued that Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation in a dispute later debunked.

The new video portrays Obama as a friend of journalists, but his work as president and his party both have an uneasy relationship with the media.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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