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DARE To Be Informed

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


Spending bill includes $2 million increase for NEA after Trump proposed eliminating funds
Congressional leaders rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate money for federal arts programs, providing a small increase as part of a bipartisan spending deal. The spending bill that Congress is expected to vote on this week includes $150 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and an identical sum for the Humanities endowment.

Independent Journalist Now Faces 70 Years in Prison After Inauguration Mass Arrest
In the months since Trump’s inauguration, cases against seven other journalists, including those not affiliated with media companies, have been dropped. But at least two independent journalists still face charges.

A Code Pink Protester Laughs Over a Trump Nominee and Is Convicted
A jury on Wednesday convicted three Code Pink activists on charges related to a protest at the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions for attorney general — including a Virginia woman who said all she did was break out in laughter.

James Comey: Classified scoops won’t be treated as ‘criminal conduct’
FBI Director James Comey sent a clear message to newsrooms across the country Wednesday: American journalists who receive classified material from sources are not criminals. Comey was specifically asked during a Senate judiciary committee hearing by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse to explain whether journalists violate the law by soliciting leaks within the intelligence community.


Turkey Purges 4,000 More Officials and Blocks Wikipedia
The Turkish government expanded its crackdown on dissent and free expression over the weekend, purging nearly 4,000 more public officials, blocking access to Wikipedia and banning television matchmaking shows.

Hardliners urge Kremlin crackdown on social media
Opposition leader Alexander Navalny’s success in using social media to mobilize youthful anti-corruption protesters has sparked calls for the Kremlin to step up internet censorship.

Chinese government bulks up restrictions against online media and news websites
Online news outlets and mainstream broadcasters operating in China will soon need to obtain official government licenses to operate legally, the country’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has announced.

At Least 6 Journalist Arrested in Uganda on Press Freedom Day
Ugandan police arrested at least six journalists as they marched in the capital Kampala to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, local media reported. The journalists, part of the Ugandan Journalists Association (UJA), staged the march following a disagreement among members of the UJA executive council on where to hold World Press Day celebrations, according to local news site ChimpReports.

Deeper Analysis

Can Freedom of the Press Survive Trump’s Onslaught?
This week marks World Press Freedom Day, which normally looks at media freedom interferences overseas. This year, though, with President Donald Trump’s well-documented attacks on the news media, World Press Freedom Day celebrants here in the United States have turned inward.

How Trump is undermining press freedom around the world
Global press freedom has long been in decline and is now at its lowest point in the past 13 years. What is new, and especially disquieting, are the mounting pressures on the media in the United States, including sharp attacks on reporters by the Trump administration.


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