Here’s how we impacted press freedom in 2021

Louise Balsmeyer

VP of Development and Operations

In a world where press freedom is under constant threat, part of our mission at Freedom of the Press Foundation will always be to defend investigative journalists who are in the most danger. But we see our job as more than that. We strive to not only defend journalists, but to empower them in the face of adversity.

We’re not just advocating for press freedom rights — we are also building technology to protect journalists and whistleblowers where lawmakers refuse to help.

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. Please help us sustain this important work with a donation by clicking here.

Here are a few highlights of what we accomplished in 2021:

  • U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: In 2021, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker monitored press freedom violations in the United States in real time, recording more than 200 press freedom violations and publishing nearly 600 incidents and updates.

There were more arrests or detainments of journalists this year than in 2017, 2018, and 2019 combined as an unprecedented crisis continued for journalists attempting to do their job covering the pandemic, nationwide protests and elections.

  • SecureDrop: FPF completed the second independent security audit of the next generation of SecureDrop, SecureDrop Workstation, concluding that “the system represents a complex but well researched product that has been thoughtfully designed” and identifying no issues that were directly exploitable by an attacker.

The new SecureDrop Workstation greatly simplifies the process of checking SecureDrop and responding to sources. To date, it has been used in production by 5 newsrooms and has been very positively received. In the year ahead, we will be rolling it out to the 75+ news outlets using SecureDrop.

  • Digital Security Trainings: Despite working in a remote capacity, the Digital Security Training team was able to deliver trainings to over 1,300 journalists, filmmakers, and other media makers across the globe.

FPF also successfully launched the Filmmaker Toolkit, in partnership with Field of Vision, and the long-awaited Digital Security Curriculum for Journalism Schools.

The role of journalism in our democracy matters now more than ever and we are grateful for your support of our important work. For more information, please see our full 2021 Impact Report (PDF), outlining the work we’ve accomplished in the past year, an overview of our major projects and programs, and how we will be expanding on our work in 2022.

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