After championing leaks against his opponent throughout his presidential campaign, Trump turns the tables, blaming leaks for Flynn’s downfall and vowing a crackdown. Journalists find a new spring in their step, thriving on the adrenaline of covering Trump. Fox News investigated for hush money payments to quiet sexual assault scandal., while a film studio mounts a “fake news” campaign to plug a new release, feeding consumer confusion. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


At Netanyahu presser, Trump continues trend of calling on conservative outlets
During his press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday afternoon, Trump continued his streak of calling on only conservative-leaning outlets, prioritizing David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Katie Pavlich, the editor of

20th Century Fox Used Fake News to Publicize ‘A Cure for Wellness’
Making the most of the fractured political and media landscape, 20th Century Fox created a group of fake news sites to market its new film “A Cure for Wellness.” The sites displayed ads for the movie and slipped references to its plot alongside made-up stories about divisive topics like abortion, vaccines and President Trump.

Maher defends booking Yiannopoulos after journalist pulls out of show
HBO’s Bill Maher is defending his decision to invite Milo Yiannopoulos on his show after The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill cancelled his appearance over the Breitbart editor and controversial alt-right leader’s presence.

Trump says Flynn was treated unfairly, a day after Spicer said he was fired because of a lack of trust
President Trump criticized the intelligence community and the media Wednesday for the news reports that ultimately led to national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation Monday night, less than four weeks into his White House tenure.

Journalists, Battered and Groggy, Find a Renewed Sense of Mission
The news cycle begins at sunrise, as reporters hear the ping of a presidential tweet, and ends sometime in the overnight hours. In consequence and velocity, the political developments of the past four weeks are jogging memories of momentous journalistic times.


Ahmed Naji: ‘Prison made me believe in literature more’ *PEN Case List
Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji is best known internationally for being imprisoned for the sexual content and drug references in his novel The Use of Life, in a society where these subjects remain largely taboo. He does, however, take solace from being the latest in an international line of literary outlaws.

Crimean journalist’s trial to start in Simferopol
Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor accused of separatism in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian region of Crimea, is preparing to face trial. Semena’s lawyer said on February 14 that preliminary hearings into the case will be held in Crimea’s capital, Simferopol, on February 17.

Chinese students in the US are using “inclusion” and “diversity” to oppose a Dalai Lama graduation speech
On Feb. 2, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) formally announced that the Dalai Lama would make a keynote speech at the June commencement ceremony, triggering outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as an oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China.

OSCE representative urges protection of independent journalists, free expression in Malta
Intimidating journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia could restrict public debate and diminish media freedom in Malta, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media said today. On February 8 a court upheld a request by the Economy Minister to freeze the account of Caruana Galizia for a critical article published last month.

Protecting Eastern European Journalists, Before It’s Too Late
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has voiced concerns about the lack of progress in investigating the death of prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was murdered in Kyiv last summer. Considered one of the founders of modern Belarusian journalism, many believe his death to have been connected with recent investigations by him.

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