The 56 journalists arrested or detained in the United States in 2021 approaches the combined totals of 2017, 2018, and 2019 — an alarming indicator of the state of press freedom, according to a new report released by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. After the unprecedented pace of arrests in 2020, some may have hoped for a “return to normalcy.” But as this new report shows, the press environment in the United States is still reeling.
The Tracker comprehensively documents press freedom violations in the United States, capturing arrests or detainments of journalists throughout the year — including four in the first week alone. Per today's report, some 86% of those arrests or detainments occurred during protests.
The report also includes a section on continuing legal charges for arrested journalists. According to the Tracker, seven journalists currently face charges stemming from arrests while reporting, including five from 2020 and two from 2021.