PEN America Congratulates Congresswoman Scanlon and Congressman Schiff for their Free Press Resolution
Resolution calls for holding law enforcement accountable for attacks on the press
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Washington, D.C.) — In response to the increasingly prevalent use of physical force and arrests against journalists covering the nation’s ongoing protests against police brutality against Black Americans, Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), joined by ten others, have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives today recognizing the widening threats to press freedom in the United States and affirming Congress’ support of independent journalism as a bedrock of American democracy. PEN America congratulates Rep. Scanlon and Rep. Schiff for drafting such a powerful resolution at an increasingly pivotal moment for American journalism.
“We at PEN America thank Reps. Scanlon, Schiff, and their colleagues for reaffirming the central role of the press in safeguarding democracy, protecting civil rights, and holding our leaders and law enforcement accountable,” said PEN America’s Washington director Thomas O. Melia. “The attacks we’ve been seeing, aimed at silencing journalists and protestors alike, infringe on the right to report, the right to assemble, and the public’s right to know. There has never been a more critical moment for Congress to condemn this violence and support our nation’s reporters.”
In addition to denouncing the more than 300 attacks on journalists across the U.S. over the past two weeks, the resolution calls for further protections including press exemptions from city curfews and reformed laws on the state, local, and federal levels to prevent attacks on the press.
“The symbolic power and practical applications of this resolution are an excellent first step in strengthening the government’s protection of the First Amendment. Calling for these reforms and reminding us of the irreplaceable role journalism plays in upholding our values bolsters our nation’s free press at a time it sorely needs this level of Congressional support,” Melia said.