PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


New York Times, Wall Street Journal editors take on Trump and the media
In a special NBC “Meet the Press” episode devoted to the media and President-elect Donald Trump, New York Times editor Dean Baquet and Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker expressed wariness over the incoming president-elect’s respect for the First Amendment.

China Shrugs Off Trump Twitter Jab on North Korea
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that problems in the economic relationship between the U.S. and China should be “properly addressed through dialogue and consultation,” but avoided commenting on whether Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter helped or hindered diplomatic discussions.

What the post-Trump debate over journalism gets wrong
The answer for journalism is not going to be found in chucking all the old notions or in clinging to them, but in a blend of embracing some revolutionary methods while keeping faith with some key fundamental principles.

D.C. court rules that bloggers may be sued for defamation of climate scientist
Michael Mann, who—like others who work in climate change—says they face unfair personal smears, says that his suits are consistent with the principles of academic freedom and free expression. But many media and civil liberties groups have backed the bloggers, saying that Mann’s suits could endanger free expression.

Virginia policy would give parents a say in school literature
Virginia regulators are drafting rules that would require school districts to red-flag objectionable teaching material and make it easier for parents to control what books their children see in the classroom.


Gambian authorities shut three radio stations amid post-election crisis
Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations near the capital, Banjul, amid an escalating political crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept his election defeat.

The Best and Worst of Russia’s New Year’s Laws
Every year, the Russian State Duma schedules laws to come into effect on January 1. In 2017, these include the “Google Tax,” HIV and disability registries, and new liabilities for news aggregators.

Turkey monitoring social media accounts after nightclub attack
Turkey has prosecuted several people, including prominent government, critics for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda through social media.

Will the Last Newspaper Editor to Leave Beirut Please Turn Out the Lights
While censorship rules in Lebanon are among the most flexible in the Middle East, and officially freedom of expression is part of the country’s liberal tradition, the dependence on sponsors and political parties imposes a heavy level of self-censorship. This neutralizes the ability of the media to be truly free.

Wall Street Journal reporter was held for three days in Turkey, paper says
A spokesman said the paper believed reporter Dion Nissenbaum’s detention was related to Turkey’s ban on reporting Islamic State terror group videos.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to