Speak Up For Press Freedom

Official Daily Action for Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Over the past two years and in the midterm elections, we’ve spoken up for what we think is right. Progressives made significant strides in elected offices across the country, and although we have more work ahead, it has made a huge difference that you have called, you have marched, and you have spoken up for what is right and against what is wrong under this administration. From transgender civil rights protection, to humane and just treatment of immigrants, to the investigation into illegal interference in U.S. elections, you have stood up and told our lawmakers and government officials that we will not allow our country to be co-opted by those who abuse their positions for their own self-interest.

Much of our information about the misuse of government power has come from our own free press. As you’ve probably read, the Trump Administration has repeatedly and consistently painted the press as the villains in our democracy. Trump has accused the free press of being liars, often but especially when an unfavorable story has been released. Recent articles have suggested that Trump’s attacks on the free press may have resulted in an overall shift toward negativity toward the press, but research also shows that Americans overwhelmingly support press freedom.

Please take a moment and speak up for the free press in our country. If we say nothing, if we let these continuous accusations pass without comment, we are allowing this administration to eliminate the fair and transparent reporting that we need in this country. Press freedom is a basic right from the earliest days of our democracy. But if we don’t stand up for it, it can be banished by the belligerent and bullying tactics of Donald Trump.

ACTION:

Today, call your MOCs and tell them how important press reporting is to the American public, and that we need lawmakers to ensure free press continues to be enforced in this country.

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal: DC - 202-225-3106; Seattle - 206-674-0040

  • Rep. Adam Smith: DC - 202-225-8901; Renton - 425-793-5180

  • Senator Patty Murray: DC - 202-224-2621; Seattle - 206-553-5545

  • Senator Maria Cantwell: DC - 202-224-3441; Seattle - 206-220-6400

SCRIPT:

“Hello, I am [NAME], a constituent calling from [CITY, ZIP]. I am calling today to express my deep concern at the erosion of freedom of the press that the Trump Administration is responsible for. Freedom of the press is a founding principle of our country. Calling the press liars and attacking journalistic reporting is an alarming trend that we cannot afford to let pass. Please take steps with your Congressional colleagues to make sure that journalists’ right to reporting on our government is protected. We need the vital and transparent information provided by free and independent press.”

Background:

“Media freedom in the US under threat, report finds,” Reporters Without Borders, https://rsf.org/en/news/media-freedom-us-under-threat-report-finds

“The biggest risk to American journalism isn’t posed by Trump,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/19/american-journalism-fake-news-trump

“New report shows American voters overwhelmingly support press freedom but are missing signs it’s under threat,” https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/new-report-shows-american-voters-overwhelmingly-support-press-freedo

“World press Freedom Day 2018: risks increase for journalists,” http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20180427STO02704/world-press-freedom-day-2018-risks-increase-for-journalists

DON'T FORGET

Check out the New "Indivisible on the Offense Guide"; this is YOUR organization, you make our work happen. Take a look at what Indivisible organizations all over the country will be doing in our next steps for RESISTANCE.

This document addresses next steps now that the Democrats are in control of the House. You may be interested! https://indivisible.org/resource/indivisible-offense-introduction

"... In 2017, we made Congress listen. Indivisibles went to town halls, die-ins, and district offices. We defeated TrumpCare, rallied for immigrants, and turned the Republican tax cut for the rich and corporations into an enormous political liability. We stiffened Democratic spines and weakened Republican resolve. We couldn’t stop everything — but we did stop a lot...

"This Guide is for what comes next. The 2016 Indivisible Guide was about using constituent power to defend our values, our neighbors, and our democracy. This Guide is about using our constituent power to go on offense."