Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CONYERS, SANFORD & COHEN Host Bipartisan Forum On Press Freedom

Forum on “The State of Press Freedom in 21st Century America”

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, July 24, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Mark Sanford (R-SC), hosted a bipartisan forum on freedom of the press entitled, “The State of Press Freedom in 21st Century America.”

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, among other things, that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press . . . .”  A free press is a critical check on the power of government institutions and public officials, yet press freedom may be under threat from various sources. 

The forum will explore, among other topics, the following:

         President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to seemingly de-legitimize mainstream news outlets by calling them “fake news” and “the enemy of the American people;”
         Threats by President Trump to change libel laws to make it easier to pursue lawsuits against the press;
         Aggressive efforts by the Administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to prosecute or pressure journalists;
         The potential epidemic of misinformation being presented to the public as “news” that may threaten to undermine the credibility of legitimate journalism;
         Restrictions on access to press briefings; and
         Physical threats to journalists.

                    Members of Congress

         Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN)
         Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC)
         House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
         Additional Members of Congress


         Jeff Ballou, President, National Press Club
         Jennifer Rubin, Writer of the “Right Turn” Blog, Washington Post
         Kyle Pope, Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journalism Review
         Alicia Shepard, Media ethics expert and contributing writer for USA Today
         Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP
         Rick Blum, Executive Director, News Media for Open Government
         Marvin Kalb, Senior Adviser, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Harvard Professor Emeritus, and Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution

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