American citizens are not alone in realising that press freedom is under attack. Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Brazilians and Filipinos – to name just a few – are also deeply concerned.
They can all learn from PEN America which has put forward An Agenda for the Biden-Harris Administration called “Free Expression and the First 100 Days” (19 January 2021). In a plea to defend and promote press freedom in the U.S., PEN calls for affirmative steps to undo the damage to Americans’ attitudes toward the press and to shore up press freedom and respect for the role of professional media in the U.S.
Media freedom is the freedom to protest.
“Hong Kong has long been respected as a powerful global economic hub and lively political and democratic space, supported by a proud and strong independent media. Yet the imposition of the new national security law… has undermined fundamental rights and freedom of expression… and severely damages Hong Kong’s autonomy,” says a statement published by the International Federation of Journalists on 19 August 2020. It was signed by eight leading organisations supporting media freedom.
The Philippines is facing another crackdown on media freedoms.
[caption id="attachment_26326" align="alignleft" width="237"] Maria Ressa. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock[/caption]
On June 15, 2020, a court in the capital Manila, convicted former CNN journalist Maria Ressa and former Rappler writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. of cyber libel for publishing an article that implicated a prominent businessman who was allegedly involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.