Statement from Reporters Committee on press freedom in the first month of the new administration

Press Release | February 22, 2017

On Wednesday, in reviewing the first month of the new presidential administration, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press made the following statements.

Statement from David Boardman, chair of the steering committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

“In the first month of the new administration, we’ve seen unrelenting verbal attacks on the media and journalists. Referring to members of the American press as ‘the enemy of the people’ is incendiary, and should not be taken lightly.

“Our country was founded on the belief that a free press is essential to democracy, and the Reporters Committee is deeply committed to ensuring that journalists are able to do their jobs.”

Statement from Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

“Intimidating journalists is in direct contradiction to core American values. Threats to press freedom are not trivial, and as always, we’ll be working directly with journalists and news outlets to protect their rights under the law and the interests of the public in robust reporting on all facets of the new administration.  

“In addition, the Reporters Committee and our allies will be launching an effort to more comprehensively track and document subpoenas and arrests, border stops and searches, and other instances here in the United States that undermine journalists’ ability to gather and report the news.

“We want to remind journalists everywhere — whether you report for a major outlet, a small nonprofit news startup, or as a freelancer — the Reporters Committee has the pro bono legal support, tools and information you need to protect yourself and your work. Our legal defense hotline is manned by Reporters Committee attorneys 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our website is full of free resources and guides on topics ranging from state and federal open government laws, access to electronic records, shield laws, and more. We have your back.”