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PEN America releases new report on the state of free expression on college campuses at a time of heightened political polarization. (Find the report here.) Organizations across the political spectrum unite to protest the National Park Service’s plan to charge fees for protests. (Find some of PEN America’s work on this here.) Cleveland Plain-Dealer lays off one-third of its remaining staff. Philadelphia Inquirer publishes in-depth spread on how their reporting works in order to help dispel misconceptions and myths about journalism. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


If There Is a Free-Speech ‘Crisis’ on Campus, Lawmakers Are Making It Worse *Find out more about our work on free expression on campuses here
Free speech is being tested on college campuses by rising numbers of hate crimes and deepening racial tensions, according to a report released today by PEN America: “Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America.” But the Trump administration’s warnings of a “crisis” overstate the problem—and risk further polarizing colleges.

Liberal, Conservative Organizations Unite Against National Park Service Proposal to Charge Protest Fees
Eight organizations have joined forces against a National Park Service proposal that would require activists to pay the government back for the cost of protests and limit where in Washington demonstrators can gather.

Plain Dealer Lays off a Third of Unionized Newsroom Staff
The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of the News Guild of the Communication Workers of America, account for about a third of the unionized news-gathering staff.

Indispensable Journalism: The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A breaking news story can be reported, written, edited, and posted online by a single journalist in a matter of minutes. By contrast, The Inquirer’s recent investigation of the Glen Mills Schools took six months to report, and its publication across our various platforms involved nearly every part of the newsroom.”


We Must Stop the Next Great Latin American Crisis Before It’s Too Late
“Over the last year, hundreds of activists, protesters, and opposition members have been arrested in Nicaragua. The UN’s Human Rights office has denounced the use of arbitrary arrests and long pretrial detentions as a way for the government to muffle dissent en masse through unrestrained imprisonment.”

YouTube Tightens Restrictions on Channel of U.K. Far Right Activist—but No Ban
Restrictions on the YouTube channel of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, include removing certain of his videos from recommendations. YouTube is also taking away his ability to livestream to his now close to 390,000 YouTube channel subscribers.

Chinese Dissidents Feel Heat of Beijing’s Wrath. Even in Canada.
Chinese-Canadian activist Sheng Xue thought she would be safe in Toronto. Then she began speaking out against the Chinese government and became the victim of a lurid smear campaign. The attacks have left her name—and health—in tatters.

Saudi Arabia Has No Intention of Changing
“This past weekend, several reports painted a vivid portrait of Mohammed bin Salman’s character—from the alleged hacking of Post owner Jeff Bezos’s cellphone to a leaked document about the horrific treatment of Saudi political prisoners. The latter showed especially clearly what Saudi citizens can expect if they take the crown prince’s talk of reform seriously.”

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