Hopes high for passing free press law in Congress

Two free press advocates in The Hill, February 1, 2024, see the PRESS Act as an overdue nonpartison solution to a problem that threatens all political parties. Clayton Weimers of Reporters Without Borders USA and Seth Stern of the Freedom of the Press Foundation write, “Administrations from both parties have abused their power to retaliate against journalists who have criticized them or exposed their secrets.” They cite instances of bad acting from the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. The PRESS act passed the House of Representatives and is now in the Senate.

The year 2023 saw 30 journalists and news outlets asked by courts to identify their sources or provide notes from their newsgathering. Caitlin Vogus of the Freedom of the Press Foundation says the bill would limit the exceptions and allow the media to challenge requests under those exceptions. It is urgent Vogus says to enact the law before the next election. (First Amendment Watch, February 5, 2024, by Susanna Granieri)

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