Press freedom group sent to USA for first time ever amid concern about media climate

A delegation of global press freedom groups will undertake an unprecedented mission to the United States, reflecting concerns about threats to journalists and heightened anti-press rhetoric.

The mission, which follows trips to Ukraine and Turkey, will coincide with the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration and will leverage the first year’s findings of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which will be released at an event at the Newseum, Washington D.C.

From January 15 to 17, leaders of six organisations — Article 19, CPJ, Index on Censorship,  IFEX, and International Press Institute — will conduct a fact-finding visit to Houston, Texas, and the Missouri cities of Columbia and St. Louis.

They will then travel to Washington for the Assessment of Press Freedom event at the Newseum on Wednesday, January 17, at 7:00 p.m. EST, and meetings with high-level policymakers on January 18 and 19.

The Press Freedom Tracker website collects data on the arrests of journalists, the seizure of their equipment, physical attacks, border stops, and other incidents.

Index on Censorship and Article 19 routinely participate in missions to countries of concern for press freedom. Recently this has included trips to Ukraine and Turkey. In 2017, Index produced a report “It’s Not Just Trump,” which highlighted the varying threats to media freedom there.

The partner organisations hope the mission will help bring attention to the deterioration of press freedom in the U.S., its impact on media freedom globally, and show solidarity with the journalist community.


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