Our right to know what's happening in the world around us is being threatened. RTDNA is a proud supporter of the Protect Press Freedom campaign, launching November 7, because a free and vocal press informs, opens dialogue, makes our voices heard and holds those in power — leaders, businesses, institutions and governments — accountable.
According to a recent Knight-Gallup study, though, 60% of Americans say local news does just a “fair” or “poor” job holding the powerful accountable.
Local news outlets must step up, and a look at the most recent Murrow Award winners and RTDNA’s most recent newsroom research shows many local stations are investing more in in-depth enterprise, accountability and investigative reporting
Community members must step up, too, to help protect the press freedom that makes it possible for journalists to do accountability reporting.
RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force has tracked more than 150 threats to press freedom in 36 states and federally in just the last year. That’s almost three times per week journalists have been threatened with legal action, denied access, tracked, harassed, verbally threatened, or physically attacked.
These subtle censorship tactics, employed by political leaders, candidates and powerful people across the country, are attempts to suppress information. These attacks are attacks on the need to know what’s happening in our communities and keep the powerful accountable.
What can the average person do to protect our collective right to information, dialogue and accountability?
Here’s how to participate in the #ProtectPressFreedom campaign:
Support local journalism
- Read, watch and listen to your local news.
- Subscribe, donate to, download and sign up for local news apps and alerts.
- Share local news stories about issues important to you.
- Ask questions and tell local journalists what you’re curious about.
- Demand transparency from public officials.
- Support legislation to keep records open and government accessible.
- Contribute to legal efforts to support press freedom and the First Amendment.
- Take the Press Freedom Quiz and share the #ProtectPressFreedom graphics on your social media.