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Bipartisan groups of representatives in the U.S. Congress introduce resolutions marking World Press Freedom Day, and affirming the centrality of press freedom to our democracy. (See PEN America’s reaction.) PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel writes on the growing threats to press freedom, arguing that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms approach can be applied to the advancement and defense of press freedom in the 21st century. (Get involved in PEN America’s national campaign for World Press Freedom Day.) Ahead of the opening night of the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival, participant Kara Swisher writes about the gaps in understanding between policymakers in Washington, D. C., and the technology industry (and the consequences of this), and Festival participant and PEN America trustee Masha Gessen tackles the disintegration of a common political discourse. See the full line-up of this year’s World Voices Festival and get your tickets soon! -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today

U.S.

For World Press Freedom Day, Here’s Our Bipartisan Call to Protect Journalists
“As members of Congress, we swear an oath to defend the Constitution, a pledge that includes protecting the First Amendment and its guarantee that the freedom of the press not be infringed. The prominence of this guarantee reflects the framers’ understanding that a press that could hold power to account was key to the success of the young American democracy.”
WASHINGTON POST

The Alarming Assault on the Free Press
“It is not enough simply to ensure that governments do not interfere with the operation of a free press. To effectively defend press freedom requires more from us than simply opposing government censorship and the persecution of journalists like Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.”
CNN

Kara Swisher Explains What DC Doesn’t Get about Silicon Valley—and Vice Versa
“There are people in government who are very up to speed on what’s happening and who have a good sense of what’s occurring and what needs to be done. It’s just that Europe and the states like California are way ahead of the federal government on [regulating the tech business]. And now you throw in Trump with his crazy accusations against tech.”
WASHINGTONIAN

Under Trump, the Language We Use to Create Political Reality Is Crumbling
“The discussion was nominally devoted to the challenges that the State Department will face in 2030, though very little was said about that year or, indeed, about the future. It was conducted in the moderately accessible policy jargon that is typical of such conversations. Except this time the familiar language took on the opposite of its usual sticky, overburdened quality: it was hollow now, like the words meant nothing.”
NEW YORKER

 
Global

Jamal Khashoggi’s death highlights need for unity on World Press Freedom Day
“On World Press Freedom Day, as more than 250 journalists around the world languish in jails in places such as Turkey, China, and Egypt and hundreds of others risk their lives daily to bring truth to their readers, it’s important to stand up and call this what it is: naked and unabashed greed at the expense of justice.”
USA TODAY

On World Press Freedom Day, China Must Account for Disappeared Photojournalist Lu Guang
“May 3 is a day to celebrate the principles of press freedom, but also to defend journalists from attacks and to remember those who have suffered because of their commitment to the free flow of ideas by word and image. Today is also six months since internationally acclaimed photojournalist Lu Guang disappeared in Xinjiang, home region to China’s unfolding crimes against humanity.”
HONG KONG FREE PRESS

Mexico President Vows Justice in Slain Journalist Case
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that the killings of journalists in Mexico will not go unpunished, and he told the son of a slain reporter that he has arranged for him to meet with federal Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Opinion: 3 proposals for a Sustainable Strengthening of Press Freedom
“Although May 3 marks the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, in 2019 there is hardly a reason to celebrate. The dream that technological progress would facilitate the free flow of information worldwide has turned into a nightmare for some. Putting your head in the sand is, of course, not a solution. Here are three proposals for a sustainable strengthening of press freedom.”
DW

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