National Press Club Statement On Press Freedom Provisions in Recent Omnibus Bill

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following is a statement from Jen Judson, President of the National Press Club and Gil Klein, President of the National Press Club Journalism Institute on press freedom provisions in the recent $1.7 trillion omnibus legislation passed at the end of the last congressional session. As an organization made up of journalists, the Press Club does not lobby for the passage of specific legislation but can offer comment on legislation once passed.

“We were pleased to see that as part of a plan to support democracy in Central America and in countries such as Afghanistan, Belarus and Hungary, Congress allocated funding to support and protect independent media and journalists that have and may come under attack. We further applaud the inclusion of a directive for the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute to require that U.S. diplomats receive training on press freedom issues as part of their broader diplomatic curriculum.

As valuable as the funding may prove to be, the greater value may be the signal Congress is sending by recognizing the vital role of a free press in democracy. This concept has received little public recognition from government officials in recent years. 

“We were disappointed to see that the PRESS Act was omitted from the final bill after an objection by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). This legislation would have provided significant protections for journalists and their sources.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the institute powers journalism in the public interest.

Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club

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SOURCE National Press Club

National Press Club Statement On Press Freedom Provisions in Recent Omnibus Bill WeeklyReviewer

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