As we barrel toward a critical election, the country faces the twin pandemics of the coronavirus and the accompanying “infodemic” of false and misleading information. At the same time, we are reckoning with the systemic inequality and racism that pose an ongoing threat to free expression and to our democracy. In short, free speech and the free flow of information have never been more vital.
With Free Speech 2020, PEN America is working to protect free speech at an uncertain moment. We’re defending journalists and press freedom, combating disinformation that threatens to poison our public dialogue, fighting online harassment in a newly all-virtual world, and defending the right to protest as threats to free speech arise amid the pandemic. Join us in the fight.
The Latest From PEN America
Get Daily Alerts on Threats to Free Speech
Our DARE (Daily Alert on Rights and Expression) is a curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Sign up now to get all the info you need to understand the challenges free speech faces this year.
Defending Journalists and Press Freedom
Journalists, and particularly local reporters, are on the front line right now, risking their own safety and reporting on stories that are saving lives. We’re suing the president and fighting back against those who seek to undermine a free press. We’re lifting up journalists who are performing heroics amid a crisis. We’re calling on policymakers to treat local journalists as essential to our economy and our democracy. And we’re pushing back against hundreds of attacks on reporters who’ve covered recent protests.
From the White House press room to news feeds online, misleading information about the coronavirus, our elections, and our democracy have seeped into the public discourse. We’re fighting back, leading a series of online webinars throughout the year to help voters spot false information. And we’re working to ensure campaigns are promoting truth.
Tell Congress: Local News is Critical in the Midst of a Pandemic
Sign the petition to Congress to include funding for local news in the next stimulus package. We’re calling for at least $5 billion to support local journalists and to make information accessible to communities of color, rural communities, working-class communities and immigrant communities.
Fighting Online Harassment
As our lives move increasingly online amid the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of harassment and vitriol weakens our ability to organize and speak out. PEN America is leading the charge to provide resources and guidance for victims of online harassment, support educators on how to ensure virtual learning is a free speech environment, and inform the public on how they can protect themselves from online hate.
Upholding Protest Rights
Demonstrations and protests are core elements of free expression and of democracy, but a growing body of legislation threatens this core constitutional right. We’re tracking state legislation and enlisting our national network of Members to stand up for the right to speak out.
Free Speech Resources
Listen to The PEN Pod
Now more than ever, we need you on our team. Your membership dues help support our lawsuit against the White House, provide writers with a lifeline of support, and fortify our literary community amid a time of great uncertainty.