6 Sites to Start Following Ahead of World Press Freedom Day
Welcome to Blog Profiles! We regularly select a topic and handful of blogs that do a great job contributing to the conversation. As we prepare to recognize World Press Freedom Day (May 3), we are recognizing a few press freedom blogs to keep you informed. Do you have a blog that deserves recognition? Tweet our writers at @BeyondBylines.
May 3 marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. Since its founding, “The proliferation of independent media in many countries and the rise of digital technologies have enabled the free flow of information. However, media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack, which impacts the fulfillment of other human rights,” according to the UN.
In recent weeks alone, several major news stories have dealt with attacks against a free press, including:
- The wrongful detainment of WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich
- New proposed laws that would limit legal protections for the media
- Twitter’s misuse of its “government-funded media” label for outlets like NPR and the BBC.
The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.” It will focus on recentering press freedom and an independent, diverse media within the overall human rights agenda.
To show our support for press freedom, we’re highlighting several blogs and news sites dedicated to defending journalists, advocating for a free press, and documenting attacks against press freedom.
1. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom and defends the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal. Its 40 experts around the world report on press freedom violations and work to take action on behalf of those targeted.
The site provides the latest data on the number of journalists killed, imprisoned, or missing around the world, as well as resources to ensure the physical, digital, and psychosocial safety of reporters. News and alerts cover recent attacks on press freedom, legislation, and more.
Here are a few recent posts:
- Fragile Progress: The struggle for press freedom in the European Union
- Turkish police detain at least 10 journalists in Diyarbakır crackdown
- ‘Living in fear’: Exiled Afghan journalists face arrest, hunger in Pakistan
Follow @pressfreedom on Twitter.
🎙: WSJ Reporter’s Detention an Example of the Latest Tactic For Silencing Journalists — @barronsonline
Watch CPJ President @jodieginsberg speak with @serwer about #lawfare, a strategy increasingly used by authoritarian regimes to silence journalists ⤵️https://t.co/79Cld8r445 pic.twitter.com/cY3iZddf6G
— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) April 28, 2023
2. Free Press
Free Press, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit that focuses on the intersection of media and technology, which have large impacts on politics and society. As the site explains, “We focus on saving Net Neutrality, achieving affordable internet access for all, uplifting the voices of people of color in the media, challenging old and new media gatekeepers to serve the public interest, ending unwarranted surveillance, defending press freedom and reimagining local journalism.”
Articles on the Free Press blog cover topics like diversity in media ownership, local media, press freedom, and the future of journalism.
Read these recent posts:
- A California Bill Would Break the Open Internet & Harm Local News
- Elon Musk: The World’s Worst Businessman
- Why NPR’s Layoffs Are a Public-Policy Problem
Follow @freepress on Twitter.
The aftertaste from the $787.5-million decision to settle the Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case lingers.
The Murdochs want to wash away damaging headlines exposing efforts to deceive the American public. But we won't let that happen.https://t.co/nReckY9nIE
— Free Press (@freepress) April 24, 2023
3. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)
The RCFP provides legal resources, including pro bono legal representation, to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists. It also runs a Legal Hotline for journalists and media lawyers and will create special event hotlines for major events like elections and the Olympics.
On the RCFP website, journalists can find legal guides on topics like shield protections and access to court documents. Search the blog for the latest posts on defamation laws, freedom of information, censorship, and more.
Check out these posts:
- Newspaper’s lawsuit prompts Tennessee hospital to release senior administrators’ salary information
- Reporters Committee statement on the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich
- New obstacles for Florida defamation bills
Follow @rcfp on Twitter.
On #WorldPressFreedomDay, @rcfp will launch a four-part newsletter series analyzing #pressfreedom violations in 2022, as confirmed by the @uspresstracker.
Sign up now to get the series in your inbox! 📩 https://t.co/EnC43iSs4D pic.twitter.com/znc6OhJ4pA
— Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (@rcfp) April 27, 2023
4. Knight First Amendment Institute
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University was founded in 2016 to safeguard free expression in the digital age. Its litigation, research, and public education programs focus on free speech and social media; privacy and surveillance; and transparency and democracy.
The blog offers quick takes as well as deep dives, podcasts, essays, research, and more.
- Twitter showed us its algorithm. What does it tell us?
- New DOJ Regulations Are a Victory for Press Freedom, But More Work Remains
- Institute’s Katie Fallow Discusses Dominion-Fox Defamation Settlement on ABC News
Follow @knightcolumbia on Twitter.
"As many courts have held, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the president or a local city manager, government officials can’t block people from these forums simply because they don’t like what they’re saying." @KatieFallow in @NBCNews. /1 https://t.co/qmrn4Q1kbp
— Knight First Amendment Institute (@knightcolumbia) April 24, 2023
5. Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF)
The FPF is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and defending the First and Fourth Amendment rights guaranteed to the press. In addition to advocating for press freedom, the organization has developed encryption tools for journalists, trains newsrooms on digital security, and documents attacks against the press.
On the site, journalists and newsroom leaders can find guides and training on topics like online harassment, mobile security tips, email encryption, and more. The blog covers the latest updates on leaks, surveillance, whistleblowers, etc.
Read these recent posts:
- Copyright abuses preview a world without Section 230
- Unconstitutional TikTok ban would open the door to press censorship
- SCOTUS review of immigration law could criminalize routine journalism
Follow @FreedomofPress on Twitter.
Chicago court bans reporters from bringing electronic devices to take notes and transmit stories. Ridiculous overreaction to one isolated incident of someone breaking recording rules. The First Amendment cannot tolerate collective punishment of the press.https://t.co/yEiybb1K7H
— Freedom of the Press (@FreedomofPress) April 28, 2023
6. U.S. Press Freedom Tracker
This nonpartisan site, run by CPJ and FPF, provides the latest data on press freedom violations in the U.S. The tracker was launched in 2017 and has “created a historical context of how First Amendment threats look in the U.S.” The site provides data export and API functionality as well as a data archive that is updated hourly.
Go down a rabbit hole with the data and check out the blog posts, which feature original analyses on press freedom trends and monthly incident roundups.
Here are a few recommended reads:
- It’s about Fox News, sure, but election 2020 subpoenas seek to unravel fraudulent claims
- A hearing of national significance, a Texas judge, and a hush request
- Targeting unknown in the gun death of a journalist in Florida
Follow @uspresstracker on Twitter.
.@lalitkjha, chief U.S. correspondent for @PTI_News, was harassed and struck in the head with a set of wooden boards while reporting on a protest organized by Sikh separatists outside the Indian Embassy in D.C. on March 25 : https://t.co/Yfr6D9OLY7
— U.S. Press Freedom Tracker (@uspresstracker) April 28, 2023
P.S. Ever wonder how we come up with ideas for our blog profiles? Our handy list of industries and subjects on PR Newswire for Journalists stays top of mind. If you’re a blogger or journalist looking for media news, let us know. We can customize a newsfeed for you.
Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.