RTDNA Applauds U.S. Senate for Press Freedom Resolution

November 29, 2018 03:00

The Radio Television Digital News Association and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force today applauded a resolution passed unanimously in the United States Senate that reaffirms America’s strong belief in a free press.
Senate Resolution 501, introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), states, in part:
[The Senate] calls on the President and the Secretary of State to—
(A) on the basis of the protections afforded under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, preserve and build upon the leadership of the United States on issues relating to freedom of the press;
(B) improve the means by which the Government of the United States rapidly identifies, publicizes, and responds to threats against freedom of the press around the world;
(C) urge foreign governments to conduct transparent investigations and adjudications of the perpetrators of attacks against journalists; and
(D) highlight the issue of threats against freedom of the press—
(i) in the annual Human Rights Reports of the Department of State; and
(ii) throughout the year.
“Today’s action by the Senate is a much-needed affirmation of the importance of the First Amendment and press freedom in the United States. Just as important, it urges a president and an administration that has often been hostile to journalists to instead promote – and protect – those who serve the public by seeking and reporting the truth around the world,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director.
“It is gratifying that, at a time when the leader of the free world occasionally calls journalists the ‘enemy of the people,’ that the Senate, on a bipartisan and unanimous basis, would support press freedom at home and abroad,” he added.
Other sponsors of S.R. 501 include Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire).
RTDNA formed the nonpartisan Voice of the First Amendment Task Force to defend against threats to the First Amendment and news media access, and to help the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. RTDNA is a founding partner of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the archive of record for threats against press freedom in America. Reach out to RTDNA by emailing pressfreedom@rtdna.org.


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