(New York, NY) – The Chinese government announced today it would expel U.S. journalists working for The New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets. Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said the following:

“At a time when facts and information are a matter of life and death for billions of people worldwide, the cycle of tit-for-tat retaliation between Beijing and Washington over the role of journalists is stunningly misguided and a grave risk to public safety. Both countries should lift any applicable restrictions and allow professional media outlets to play their role of reporting the news and calling it like they see it. It would be impossible not to interpret Beijing’s latest move as an effort to control the uncontrollable story, namely the spread of COVID-19. The role of government vis-a-vis the media right now should be to offer information and, beyond that, get out of the way of health experts, scientists and credible journalists who are telling the public what they urgently need to know.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 202 309 8892