Here’s how we impacted press freedom in 2020, a harrowing year for journalists

Louise Balsmeyer

Director of Development

It’s no secret that press freedom is under threat both in the U.S. and around the world. Between the rapidly evolving public health crisis around COVID-19, the presidential election, and the protests surrounding racial and social injustice, press freedom has been at the forefront of it all.

At Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), we’re not just advocating for press freedom rights—we are also building technology to protect journalists and whistleblowers where lawmakers refuse to help. If politicians won’t protect the rights of journalists, we will.

And without our supporters, our donors, and the brave journalists and whistleblowers who put their lives on the line, none of our work would be possible. You can help us sustain this important work with a donation by clicking here!

Here’s a few highlights of what we accomplished in 2020:

  • U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: This year alone, the Tracker reported over 1,000 individual press freedom violations involving journalists and reporters. In a year marked by a global pandemic, national election, and protests for social justice and against police brutality, the Tracker fielded a more than 700% increase in reported press freedom violations than the previous year.
  • SecureDrop: Our open-source whistleblower submission system is currently used by over 75 investigative news outlets worldwide. In 2020, SecureDrop was adopted or reinstated by The Markup, The Center for Public Integrity, The Public Source, Technopolice, Investigace.cz, and TechCrunch. We are also preparing to deploy the next generation of SecureDrop in early 2021.
  • Digital Security Trainings: Over the course of 2020, our Digital Security Training team trained over 1,200 journalists, media makers, students, and members of civil society, and published more digital security resources for journalists than any previous year. Because the pandemic changed the way journalists work, our team responded with a suite of new educational services and resources to meet their evolving security needs.

The role of journalism in our democracy matters now more than ever and we are grateful for your support of our important work. Below is our 2020 Impact Report, outlining the work we’ve accomplished in the past year, an overview of our major projects and initiatives, and how we will be expanding on our work in 2021.

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