Prefer to receive this news digest daily? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list.

DARE To Be Informed

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


Trump’s proposed cuts to the humanities strike at the heart of what actually makes America great
In Trump’s proposed budget, the NEH, along with its sister agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, would be eliminated. At $148 million, the NEH budget is 1/21,000th of the $4 trillion US federal budget—a minuscule figure the NEH affectionately likens to “barely more per capita than the cost of a postage stamp.”

Rex Tillerson’s Hope for a Media-Free Bubble May Burst
Rex W. Tillerson, the new Secretary of State, offered the diplomatic understatement of the month on Saturday when he told the sole reporter he permitted on his airplane: “I’m not a big media press access person. I personally don’t need it.”

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content
Several YouTube users, many of them in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, have been complaining that their videos are categorized as “restricted” for no obvious reasons. YouTube acknowledged Monday that it might have made a mistake, and was working to fix the restriction.

Racist Vandalism In Oregon Is Pulling Residents Into A Free Speech Fight
Oregon was founded as a white haven, and its constitution banned black residents until 1926. A century later, swastikas and other racist vandalism are on the rise statewide, but police are struggling with a surprisingly complicated question: What makes a hate crime?


Belarus arrests dozens in crackdown, claims weapons found
Authorities in Belarus arrested people who were preparing “mass unrest” after discovering a weapons cache in a separate raid, according to state television. But activists in the ex-Soviet state dispute the official account.

Another Mexican journalist has been killed — the third one this month
Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach became a victim of the growing violence in Mexico that she chronicled so thoroughly. Breach was killed as she left her home in the capital city of Chihuahua — the third journalist slain in Mexico this month.

Indian Director Says Feminism Makes Censor Boards Uncomfortable
Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava says the censor board’s refusal to certify her film “Lipstick Under My Burkha” is a reflection that the board is not comfortable with films on feminism and the female point of view.

‘Sometimes I laugh at this farce’: six writers on life behind bars in Turkey
Six persecuted writers describe the mental and physical toll of living in the country that jails more journalists than any other. Three of the inmates featured are being detained under state of emergency rules which forbid written communications, and have given their testimonies verbally through intermediaries.

Deeper Analysis

For this Russian dissident, holding Putin accountable was almost deadly — twice
Dissident Vladi­mir Kara-Murza believes he somehow survived two attempts to murder him with a sophisticated and virtually untraceable poison — the same kind of attack that has killed a host of other Putin opponents in the past decade.

The media should become a true opposition party
What if, rather than reflexively assuming its defensive posture of “objectivity,” the press embraced this opportunity to go full-offense? If the press can find a way to conceptualize itself as a true opposition party, then perhaps American journalism might stand for something that would be of value to readers and viewers.


DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign. Send your feedback and story suggestions to

Prefer to receive this news digest daily? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list.