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Stormy Daniels says attorney Michael Avenatti filed defamation suit against her wishes. Rhode Island students file suit in federal court claiming that public schools failed to teach them civics. Argentine prosecutor plows forward with investigation into Saudi leader Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi killing. Fox News executives decline to answer questions about ethics and standards policies in relation to coordinating coverage with former Trump Administration official Scott Pruitt. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Stormy Daniels Says Michael Avenatti Filed Trump Defamation Suit Against Her Wishes
The pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford moved to distance herself from the lawyer Michael Avenatti, saying he had filed a defamation suit against President Trump against her wishes and sometimes spoke on her behalf without her consent.

The Lawsuit That’s Claiming a Constitutional Right to Education
A new federal complaint with a unique argument accuses the state of Rhode Island of failing to provide students with the skills they need to participate effectively in a democracy. If the lawsuit succeeds in the nation’s highest court, it could usher in a major overhaul of the country’s education system.

When Fox News Staffers Break Ethics Rules, Discipline Follows — or Does It?
“The Trump administration and Fox News are so deeply intertwined that it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. … As for adherence at Fox to traditional journalistic standards—which underlie the news media’s role in holding government accountable—vague lip service is as far as it seems to go.”

What I’ve Learned from Two Years Trying to Shift Narratives about the South
“It’s been two years since journalists who live on the coasts and work at national publications vowed to do better, to dig deeper, to reject stereotypes and take the middle of America more seriously. But not much has changed. … The real work … is still happening here on the ground.”

‘They Got Me. I’m Afraid’: Swastikas Spray-Painted on a Jewish Professor’s Office at Columbia
Anti-Semitic graffiti had been spray-painted on the office walls of Elizabeth Midlarsky, a clinical psychologist and Holocaust scholar at Columbia’s Teachers College. The episode comes amid mounting concerns about anti-Semitism.


Argentine Prosecutors Consider Charges Against Saudi Crown Prince Ahead of G-20 *PEN Case List: Find Out More
Argentine authorities are looking into possible criminal charges against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia as he prepares to attend an international summit meeting of world leaders this week in Buenos Aires. Expected to be part of the inquiry is the Jamal Khashoggi case.

Huge Pro-Government Media Conglomerate Formed in Hungary
The owners of a vast majority of Hungary’s pro-government media outlets said they are donating their companies to a foundation, creating a huge right-wing media conglomerate.

The Foreign Media That Dare Not Speak Ill of Trump
Several autocratic regimes with which the U.S. has tense relations—including China, Turkey, North Korea, and Russia—have … [directed] their state-controlled outlets not to criticize Trump by name. Instead, they find scapegoats other than Trump himself, including his advisers, the “Deep State,” and former President Obama.

Crosscheck Launches in Nigeria, with 16 Newsrooms Working Together to Fight Misinformation
CrossCheck Nigeria will ask the Nigerian public to send rumors related to the national elections to a CrossCheck WhatsApp account; the CrossCheck account will share correct information back, and encourage the people who sent it originally to share it with their groups.

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