Press Freedom

Our democracy needs a robust press to hold our leaders accountable and cover the important issues facing our communities.

But press freedom is under attack today, with government authorities seizing journalists’ phone records, detaining reporters at border crossings and demanding that journalists reveal the identities of confidential sources.

This kind of harassment doesn’t just affect “professional” journalists. The Internet and new technologies have democratized media making, with more people taking up the tools of journalism. And after years of newsroom layoffs, many of the people who are most at risk are citizen journalists and indie reporters operating outside the mainstream press.

With more people than ever before engaged in media making, there are also more people who have a stake in defending press freedom.

The First Amendment belongs to all of us and the public has to have a seat at the table when new laws are being debated. We must leverage public pressure to make our leaders understand what the First Amendment means in the digital age, to beat back bad laws that threaten our rights to connect and communicate, and to support new journalistic efforts in all their forms.

Photo by Glenn Halog of citizen journalist John Knefel under arrest in New York City.

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News from Around the Web

  • Where Did Press Freedom Suffer Most in 2013? Online.

    MediaShift
    February 28, 2014

    This month the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual analysis of Attacks on the Press, including a “Risk List” of the places where press freedom suffered most in 2013. As you might expect, conflict areas filled much of the list — Syria, Egypt, Turkey — but the place on the top of the list was not a country. It was cyberspace.

  • DoJ Right Not to Prosecute Assange, Say Press Freedom Advocates

    IDG News Service
    December 4, 2013

    The U.S. Department of Justice has made the right decision to not prosecute WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange for publishing leaks from former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, if a recent report in the Washington Post is correct, press freedom advocates said.

  • Let’s Stop Defining Who Is a Journalist, and Protect All Acts of Journalism

    MediaShift
    October 28, 2013

    the debate over who qualifies as a journalist has taken place primarily among journalists and policymakers, with little or no community involvement. People everywhere have a stake in this debate, both as media makers and as news consumers, and we should engage them in these conversations more deeply. They are not just our audience, but also our allies in the fight ahead.

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People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good