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.

3 Things You Can Do

Blog Posts

  • Five Top Threats to Your Rights to Connect and Communicate in the Trump Era

    September 18, 2017
    The Trump administration, the FCC, Congress and greedy companies are attacking people’s rights to connect and communicate so relentlessly that staying on top of everything that’s happening can feel like an impossible task. Check out this list of five of the biggest threats.
  • Trump's War on the First Amendment Finds a Home at the FCC

    June 5, 2017
    The Trump FCC is carrying out its quest to kill Net Neutrality in a distinctly undemocratic way — including banning some activists from ever attending the agency’s public meetings. And that’s just one in a growing number of incidents in which the FCC has cracked down on the rights of people who support Net Neutrality.
  • On World Press Freedom Day, the United States Faces New Threats and Awareness

    May 3, 2017
    In the United States, World Press Freedom Day has typically brought awareness of the dangers to journalists in war zones and dictatorships, but this year also brings a new focus on the need to protect press freedom at home.
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News from Around the Web

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  • Defending All Acts of Journalism

    U.S. journalism is in a fragile state. Strengthening the connections between newsrooms and communities is one way forward.
  • Low Power FM Radio

    Low Power FM radio stations are community-based nonprofit outlets that broadcast to neighborhoods and small towns throughout the country.

    LPFM stations have a limited broadcast range of just a few miles, but their impact on communities can be immense. These noncommercial stations inject vibrancy into a radio dial that has suffered from years of media consolidation.

    LPFM stations offer a platform for content and viewpoints that traditional media overlook. These stations foster community identity and serve as hubs for vital safety information during emergencies.

  • Attacks on Public Media

    Every year, for almost a decade, Americans have ranked public television as the institution they trust most. And more than 70 percent of Americans see funding for public television as money “well spent.” Exactly how much do Americans spend to support this resource? Pocket change: The United States spends less than$1.50 per person on public broadcasting — 20 times less than Germany and a whopping 70 times less than Denmark.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good