While the most-discussed threats to free expression in the U.S. come lately from a president who denigrates journalists and savages the truth, dangers to free expression run deeper than the current administration and will outlast it. 

Widening fissures in our society are leading to unprecedented calls to rein in offensive speech. Publishing houses and entertainment studios still exclude essential voices. The rapid spread of fraudulent and vitriolic content online demands new ways to mitigate the impact of harmful speech. Vulnerable communities question whether the First Amendment protects only the hateful and the powerful as legislative assaults threaten the basic rights communities have to exercise free speech. Long-standing business models for the creation and dissemination of local news are on their last legs, undermining our access to information and democracy itself.

Through our national and state-level advocacy, original and catalytic research and resources, and engagement in communities around the country, PEN America is at the frontlines confronting urgent threats to free expression and seeking innovative ways to respond to the most pressing issues facing journalists, creative writers, visual artists, activists, and our Members.