U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Politics and the press

Published On
November 5, 2023

Tracking how the media is treated on the road to Election 2024

A videocamera surrounded by U.S. flags

A campaign videographer films a candidate announcing his entry to the 2024 presidential race.

— REUTERS/Mark Makela

This is a specialized tracking project by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker to collect and catalog reports of press freedom aggressions by candidates and their teams running in federal elections.

We believe that candidates’ treatment of journalists while running for office gives us insight into how they may behave when they become elected officials — and that this blog may serve as one measure to hold them accountable. From Nov. 5, until Election Day 2024, we'll update this searchable blog with relevant incidents from across the U.S., topped off with the most recent reports.

If a journalist is denied access or removed from a federal campaign event, we’ll review the facts of the incident to determine if it gives rise to First Amendment concerns.

Among the factors we consider in our inquiries are whether or not a candidate had Secret Service protection, if their campaign is publicly funded, and who was involved with the decision to remove working press from an event or otherwise deny access.

Nov. 28, 2023 | Trump calls on government to ‘come down hard’ on MSNBC

Former President Donald Trump, without evidence in a late-night November 28 post to the social media site Truth Social, accused MSNBC of baselessly attacking him in an effort to interfere with the 2024 election.

In a screenshot reposted to another platform, the front-runner for the Republican nomination called the television news outlet “nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republic Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE.”

Trump added that the government should “come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity.” The post did not specify what type of action he hoped the government would take.

The post also attacked Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of MSNBC parent company Comcast Corporation, which owns multiple broadcast networks including NBC and Telemundo.

Nov. 8, 2023 | Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy targets news media in debate

During the opening minutes of the third Republican presidential debate, candidate Vivek Ramaswamy targeted NBC News anchor Kristen Welker and the “corrupt media establishment” in his response as to why he should be the party nominee for president.

In detailing how the Republican party became a “party of losers,” Ramaswamy turned his attention to Welker, one of three moderators: “It’s about you in the media and the corrupt media establishment.”

He also falsely claimed previous elections were rigged by the news media. “This media rigged the 2016 election, they rigged the 2020 election with the Hunter Biden laptop story and they’re going to rig this election unless we have accountability,” Ramaswamy said.

The debate aired on NBC News.

#Election press freedom violations in the Tracker

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