Journalists must speak up when press freedom is at stake

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Promoting press freedom in the 21st century

Calumet City, Illinois authorities recently hit Daily Southtown reporter Hank Sanders with a flurry of citations for asking too many questions. Mayor Thaddeus Jones, pictured here, reportedly also sought an order barring Sanders from city hall. The city dropped the citations after the ordeal made national headlines.

Photo via Calumet City Office of the Mayor.

Last month’s absurd citations of a Chicago area reporter for asking officials too many questions would’ve been easy to overlook as a fluke — if not for the arrests of Alabama journalists for reporting news earlier that month. And that’s not to mention the August police raid of the Marion County Record in Kansas, among other alarming press freedom violations this year.

Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) Director of Advocacy Seth Stern wrote in an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times that the press needs to use newsprint to fight back when officials attempt to retaliate against it for doing its jobs.

It’s no time for fence-sitting when a leading presidential candidate wants to investigate news outlets for treason and imprison reporters and a sitting U.S. senator is baselessly urging terrorism investigations of news outlets.

Fighting back with ink isn’t just about journalists. It’s about everyone who relies on a free press to stay informed.

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