The Press Freedom Tracker is a new project seeking to provide insights on press freedom in the U.S., specifically on attacks to press freedom and obstructions of it.
This nonpartisan website aims to be the first to provide reliable, easy-to-access information on the number of press freedom violations in the United States—from journalists facing charges to reporters stopped at the U.S. border or asked to hand over their electronics.
When journalists are obstructed, so is the public’s right to be informed and hold power to account. The United States has some of the strongest legal free speech protections in the world, and serves as a beacon for press freedom in a world where journalists are routinely censored, attacked, or imprisoned for their work. But the U.S. record is imperfect, and journalists and advocates must tirelessly defend the First Amendment in courts, in legislatures, and in the media. Constant vigilance and an honest accounting of the country’s track record on press freedom are essential.
The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker brings together more than two dozen press freedom groups to create a centralized repository for research. The data we gather will help inform advocacy, journalism, and legal action.
Real freedom is perhaps best described as participation in power. I view that as crucial to remember when contrasting with the more standard definition of freedom, which is not being stopped from doing certain things.