The Global Press Freedom Act [S.204] was recently reintroduced in the new 117th Congress by Senator Brian Schatz [D-HI]. It is a bipartisan initiative, cosponored by Senator Todd Young [R-IN]. If passed, the act would create an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Press Freedom who would oversee a new Office of Press Freedom responsible for protecting the press at home and abroad. The bill would also require enhanced training for State Department officials on free expression issues, promoting media independence, and protecting foreign journalists. Click here to read the bill.
“Senator Schatz’s initiative is an important step forward in reaffirming our nation’s commitment to a global free press—a fundamental safeguard and building block of any democracy. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an already disturbing trend of assaults by too many governments on journalists and free expression more broadly. The bill, when enacted, will not only bring these injustices to light, but will serve as a global accountability measure to ensure our continued support for journalists, reporters, and the broader news and media community. Heightened efforts by the State Department to address these challenges could come at no better time”
Join our Letter Writing Campaign! To pass the Global Press Freedom Act, we need to get other senators on board and a House member to introduce it. We're writing letters to representatives across the country, urging them to sponsor the Global Press Freedom Act. We've compiled templates and instructions.
“Our democracy depends on the ability of journalists to ask tough questions, dig for the truth, and report what they find — without fear of violence or persecution. Freedom of the press is a priority in our founding documents, so it must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy. Our new bill reasserts our commitment to a free press at home and abroad, empowering the State Department to engage with these issues diplomatically on the world stage.”
- Senator Brian Schatz [D-HI]
“Freedom of the press is essential to democracy, good governance, and holding those in power accountable. This principle was enshrined in our founding documents for that reason. Because our values do not stop at our border, I am proud of this new proposal that will empower our diplomats to support a free press around the globe.”
- Senator Todd Young [R-IN]
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Journalist Protection Act— 2020 Campaign
What Is the Journalist Protection Act?
The Journalist Protection Act was introduced by California Representative Eric Swalwell in 2019. If passed, the JPA would establish new criminal offenses for intentionally injuring or intimidating a journalist. Click here to learn more.
"It represents a clear statement that assaults against people engaged in reporting is unacceptable, and helps ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere with news-gathering."