The Trump Administration imposes a gag rule on all communications from multiple federal agencies, while in turn multiple news organizations offer secure drop sites for government workers and others who want to provide tips confidentially. In the White House briefing room, the spokesman offers the first question to a conservative website with a made-to-order question, and defends the President’s repetition of a lie about voter fraud—followed by the President’s plan to hunt that fraud with a “major investigation.”-Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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

U.S.

Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration
Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.
THE GUARDIAN

Federal Workers Told To Halt External Communication In First Week Under Trump
Multiple federal agencies have told their employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press.
HUFFINGTON POST

Pro-Trump site gets 1st question at White House briefing
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took the first question at his briefing Tuesday from a reporter who works for LifeZette, a website founded by Donald Trump supporter Laura Ingraham.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘Alternative’ National Parks Twitter account gains 170,000 followers overnight
As the Trump administration rapidly shuts down the lines of communication between federal agencies and the public, an anonymous Twitter account is upholding the ethos of the National Parks Service.
DAILY DOT

Don’t Expect the First Amendment to Protect the Media
The truth is, legal protections for press freedom are far feebler than you may think. Even more worrisome, they have been weakening in recent years.
THE NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

Germany to Abolish Law on Insulting Foreign Heads of States
The Justice Minister on Wednesday said Germany was abolishing a law requiring the government’s permission to allow the prosecution of anyone deemed to have insulted a foreign head of state, saying it was “outdated and unnecessary.”
ABC NEWS

French internet censorship rose sharply in 2016
France’s interior minister says authorities have blocked or ordered search engines to de-list hundreds of websites in 2016, a significant increase over 2015.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kyrgyz court confirms life sentence for journalist
A court in Kyrgyzstan has upheld a life sentence for an ethnic Uzbek journalist in a case that has drawn international criticism.
FOX NEWS

Panama Releases Dutch Journalist; Press Freedom Scrutinized
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights commended the December 23 release of Dutch journalist and blogger Okke Ornstein from custody in Panama.
THE COSTA RICA STAR

EU expands anti-fake-news task force
An EU agency set up to counter Kremlin disinformation campaigns will receive extra resources as Europe faces two major elections. But the East Stratcom Task Force only has a team of ten to debunk fake news stories.
DEUTSCHE WELLE

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