A new report found that NYPD officers deployed during the George Floyd protests this summer "failed to discriminate between lawful, peaceful protesters and unlawful actors,” and frequently resorted to aggressive crowd control tactics that failed to adequately take protesters' expressive rights into consideration.
Drawing on data collected by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the report showed at least 117 verified cases of journalists arrested in 2020. The number represents a 1200% increase from 2019 when only nine cases were confirmed.
The report details 35 incidents of universities punishing students or faculty for speech online, and 10 universities with policies in place that FIRE says give administrators “immense power to punish large swaths of speech.” According to the advocacy group, many public universities are acting like the First Amendment applies differently to online speech.
While the majority of Americans believe the press is important to maintain a free society, many are pessimistic about the media’s ability to publish objective news stories. Released on August 4, 2020, the report is based on the responses of 20,000 U.S. adults collected between November 2019–February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic hit and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The public health crisis provides authoritarian governments with an opportunity to implement the notorious ‘shock doctrine’ – to take advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose measures that would be impossible in normal times,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
Reporters Committee Attorney and author of the 2019 Press Freedom Report Sarah Matthews explains why borders and protests remain risky for journalists, as well as how data collected in the US Press Freedom Tracker drives her advocacy work.
Americans are becoming increasingly aware of their rights under the First Amendment, according to the 2019 State of the First Amendment survey released by the Freedom Forum Institute. The survey found that 71 percent of respondents were able to name at least one First Amendment right, compared to just 51 percent of respondents in the 2018 survey. Freedom of speech (64 percent) was the most commonly recalled right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Next was freedom of religion (29 percent), freedom of the press (22 percent) and right of assembly (12 percent). At just four percent, the right to petition was the least likely of the five freedoms to be recalled.
The Knight Foundation released a new report, “Free Expression on College Campuses,” that examines students’ views on topic like hate […]