Government censorship and its effects on translation and book publishing, wide-spread surveillance and its chilling effect on creativity, government policies and their effects on self-censorship—these are just a few of the ways that the right to freedom of expression is being eroded in the United States and around the globe. PEN America’s reports explore these tough issues and multitudes of other factors affecting creative freedom today. By presenting innovative research and analysis, the reports provide a solid base for recommendations to create sustainable change. Learn more about our reports and read them in full below.

How Good Faith Attempts to Address Free Speech and Anti-Semitism on Campus Could Backfire

November 7, 2017

North Carolina, and Wisconsin have already enacted comprehensive new campus speech laws with varied provisions. Similar proposals have been introduced or are under consideration in Michigan and Illinois.  In a new whitepaper, PEN America speaks out in response to a spate of legislation and legislative proposals at the state level that are aimed to buttress free speech protections at American universities. In all, the whitepaper analyzes a dozen proposed or passed state bills.


Fraudulent News and the Fight for Truth

October 12, 2017

Warning that the spread of “fake news” is reaching a crisis point, Faking News: Fraudulent News and the Fight for Truth evaluates the array of strategies that Facebook, Google, Twitter, newsrooms, and civil society are undertaking to address the problem, stressing solutions that empower news consumers while vigilantly avoiding new infringements on free speech.


Free Expression in the President’s First 100 Days

April 27, 2017

Trump the Truth clocks more than 70 separate instances where President Trump or senior Administration officials have taken potshots at the press, including Presidential tweets decrying “fake news,” restrictions on media access, intimations that the press has “their reasons” for not reporting terror attacks, and branding press outlets as “the enemy of the American people.”


Disappeared Booksellers and Free Expression in Hong Kong

November 4, 2016

Writing on the Wall provides the most comprehensive account to date of the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers in late 2015, and also examines the wide-reaching impact for Hong Kong as an international publishing center and safe harbor for free expression.


Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities

October 17, 2016

And Campus for All combines extensive reporting and thorough analysis of all sides of recent debates, as well as three case studies informed by exclusive interviews with protagonists in some of the most pitched campus battles in recent years.


Book Challenges and Lack of Diversity in Children’s Literature

September 26, 2016

A persistent pattern of attempts to remove certain books from public schools and libraries, combined with a lack of diversity in Children’s and Young Adult (CYA) book publishing, narrows the range of stories and perspectives available to U.S. students.


Constraints on Foreign Journalists in China

September 22, 2016

Darkened Screen details how China’s government is rewriting the bounds of acceptable coverage for foreign media, constraining the work of foreign journalists and restricting unbiased coverage of the world’s most populous country.


Attacks on Free Expression in Putin’s Russia

January 25, 2016

Discourse in Danger documents the Russian government’s campaign to constrain free expression by limiting public access to information, closing avenues of civic engagement, populating discourse with approved ideas, and raising the stakes on dissent. 


A Blueprint for the Future of Free Expression in Myanmar

December 2, 2015

Unfinished Freedom provides a road map for the new government in Myanmar to solidify protections, counter hate speech, and guarantee political space for peaceful dissent as a healthy component of any free society. 


Whistleblowers, National Security, and Free Expression

November 10, 2015

Drawing on interviews with leakers, lawyers, scholars, journalists, and government representatives, this report reveals the massive holes in the laws and regulations covering whistleblowing by intelligence workers, particularly when raising valid constitutional or ethical issues about a government action that has been previously authorized by an agency head or Congress as legal.

The Impact of Nigeria’s Anti-LGBTI Law on Freedom of Expression

June 29, 2015

Silenced Voices, Threatened Lives: The Impact of Nigeria’s Anti-LGBTI Law on Freedom of Expression uses potent and poignant individual testimonies by LGBTI Nigerians to demonstrate how the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014 has distorted Nigeria’s cultural and political landscape by silencing the country’s LGBTI community through state-sanctioned intimidation and marginalization.

Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship

May 20, 2015

This report illustrates an under-explored dimension of China’s massive censorship machine: the censorship of some of the thousands of international titles published annually in China. 


Encroachments on Press Freedom in Hong Kong

January 16, 2015

The deterioration of press freedom accelerated over the course of 2014 in Hong Kong, coinciding with a period of rising political tension. This report brings together news reports, first-person commentary, and legal precedent to expose the shrinking environment for free expression in the territory.


The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

January 5, 2015

Based on a survey of nearly 800 writers worldwide, concern about surveillance is now nearly as high among writers living in democracies (75 percent) as among those living in non-democracies (80 percent). And writers around the world think that mass surveillance has significantly damaged U.S. credibility as a global champion of free expression for the long term. 



October 27, 2014

This report compiles 52 alleged violations of freedom of the press during the Ferguson protests. On the basis of these findings, PEN America calls upon the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out investigations into violations of press freedom that took place in the context of the Ferguson protests. 


NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor

November 12, 2013

PEN America partnered with independent researchers at the FDR group to conduct a survey of over 520 American writers to better understand the specific ways in which awareness of far-reaching surveillance programs influences writers’ thinking, research, and writing. The results demonstrate that writers are not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.


Creativity and Constraint in Today’s China

November 12, 2013

The result of five years of research and targeted advocacy on behalf of censored or persecuted writers and journalists in the People’s Republic of China, this report compiles the ongoing threats to individual writers and journalists and our assessment of the climate for freedom of expression in the world’s most populous state. Leading Chinese writers also contributed ten essays.