A View from the Field: Fighting the Surveillance State
A View from the Field is an ongoing feature that highlights the efforts of Free Press’ team of organizers and advocates.
Once a month, we provide updates from the field as staffers work alongside our amazing allies and activists to create a more just and equitable media system.
Senior Counsel and Director, Digital Justice and Civil Rights Nora Benavidez spoke at a Yale Law Access & Accountability conference on First Amendment rights and law enforcement’s treatment of protest movements.
Co-CEO Jessica J. González took part in a National Hispanic Media Coalition forum exploring how Facebook has allowed disinformation to proliferate and harm Latinx communities.
News Voices Program Manager Lish Wang Savson co-facilitated the first “WUNC Community Conversations” event at North Carolina’s flagship public-radio station. This session, which was designed to engage underrepresented and underserved community members, focused on youth and the arts.
Senior Director of Strategy and Engagement Joseph Torres spoke at a Media Impact Funders conference about the future of journalism. The panel discussion he took part in explored how public policy can strengthen local media.
News Voices: Colorado Manager Diamond Hardiman attended an event on representation in local journalism hosted by the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab) and PEN America. The discussion included mentions of the historic Black Voices report that News Voices created in partnership with COLab and the Colorado Media Project. The report features recommendations on how newsrooms and funders can better serve Black Coloradans.
Diamond also attended a gathering featuring several members of the Black Voices working group that shaped the report. The in-person event, hosted by 9 News, COLab, Colorado Public Radio and other organizations, explored next steps in the fight to make the state’s media more inclusive and equitable. The group also highlighted the importance of telling stories of Black power and joy.
Director of Surveillance and Free Expression Policy Sandra Fulton took part in the panel discussion “The State of Surveillance: 20 Years After the Patriot Act” alongside advocates and two former members of Congress: Mark Udall and Bob Goodlatte. Speakers examined how surveillance practices have changed over the past two decades and considered what’s next in the fight to end mass spying that disproportionately harms people of color, Muslims, activists and journalists.
“We’re all being watched,” Sandra said, “but some of us are being watched more than others.”