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DARE To Be Informed

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


Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent
Claiming people are being paid to riot, state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything has actually happened.

On free press, Supreme Court pick at odds with Trump
On the campaign trail, long before he called the news media “the enemy of the American people,” President Trump pledged to curtail press freedom. On this score, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, seems destined to disappoint his patron.

Media more trustworthy than Trump, poll finds
A Quinnipiac poll shows a dramatic split between Republicans and other Americans when it comes to matters of trust. The survey found that 52% of voters trust the media more than they trust Trump, while only 37% said they trusted Trump more. Among Democrats, 86% said they trusted the media more than the president.

Lincoln Center turns away woman wearing anti-Trump sign
Jenny Heinz, a longtime Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic subscriber, was barred from attending when she refused to remove an 8-by-11-inch sign affixed to the back of her jacket. Ms. Heinz, 72, said she had been wearing the sign since she attended a protest outside Trump Tower in November.


Elation as Long-Time Jailed Uzbekistan Journalist is Released
A journalist in Uzbekistan who has languished behind bars for 18 years has been released in a development that has elicited elated responses from rights activists.

BBC journalist faces defamation charge in Thailand
A British journalist could face up to five years in a Thai jail after a lawyer brought a criminal defamation case against him over an investigation into fraud on a popular tourist island. Rights groups say the case exposes how Thailand’s defamation and computer crime laws promote endemic corruption.

With big red stamp, Russia singles out what it calls ‘Fake’ News
On Wednesday Russia’s Foreign Ministry unveiled a new section on its website meant to highlight articles that it considers to be fake news. Each article on the website carried a big red label reading “FAKE” in English and a line saying that the information in the article “does not correspond to reality”.

Gambian journalists return from exile
About 200 journalists have fled from Gambia since 1994. Now, however, some have become more optimistic that prospects have changed for the better.

Deeper Analysis

The real enemy of the people is a president who opposes the free press
Even in the most challenging of times, honorable leaders recognize that without debate no administration can succeed. No president who takes seriously an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” a constitution that outlines the essential role of a free press would ever make the statements that Trump is making.

Why Art Matters to America
All too often, art is seen as a “soft” subject, the first thing to be cut, whether by local school boards or the federal government, when money is tight. But looked at purely in dollars, it is a false saving


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