“Journalists in the United States face hostility from local and federal governments, along with a number of legal threats to themselves and their sources. This nonpartisan website aims to be the first to provide reliable, easy-to-access information on the number of press freedom violations in the United States—from journalists facing charges to reporters stopped at the U.S. border or asked to hand over their electronics. When journalists are obstructed, so is the public’s right to be informed and hold power to account. The United States has some of the strongest legal free speech protections in the world, and serves as a beacon for press freedom in a world where journalists are routinely censored, attacked, or imprisoned for their work. But the U.S. record is imperfect, and journalists and advocates must tirelessly defend the First Amendment in courts, in legislatures, and in the media. Constant vigilance and an honest accounting of the country’s track record on press freedom are essential.
The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker brings together more than two dozen press freedom groups to create a centralized repository for research. The data we gather will help inform advocacy, journalism, and legal action. The tracker is based on a coalition that shares knowledge about threats to press freedom across the country. Freedom of the Press Foundation, a press freedom advocacy organization, manages the day-to-day operations of the site. The Committee to Protect Journalists heads a steering committee that includes the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Reporters Without Borders, and Index on Censorship. Our group of partners also includes professional societies, news organizations, and free expression advocates. The work would not be possible without their contributions.” [h/t Joe Hodnicki]