CPJ examines press freedom under Obama

Upcoming report looks at leak investigations and surveillance

New York, September 30, 2013– The Committee to Protect Journalists will release its first comprehensive report on press freedom conditions in the United States. Leonard Downie Jr., former Washington Post executive editor and now the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is the author. The report will be released at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on October 10.

“Journalists working in the United States have told us that their work has become more difficult as aggressive leak investigations and prosecution have chilled certain kinds of reporting,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Given his experience as both an academic and media professional, Len Downie is the right person to look at these complex issues with clarity and purpose.”

“The fact that the Committee to Protect Journalists felt compelled to investigate the U.S. government’s treatment of the press is a remarkable statement here in the home of the First Amendment,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “U.S. government tactics are increasingly impeding journalists’ work and placing a chill on newsgathering that could endanger our democracy.”

CPJ’s comprehensive investigation of threats to press freedoms under the Obama administration is its first on the U.S. The organization issues about a half-dozen special reports annually on the state of press freedom in selected countries. So far in 2013, CPJ has completed reports on BurmaChinaEgyptIranPakistan, and Tanzania. The only time the United States has been the subject of a CPJ report was 19 years ago. That report was limited to attacks on immigrant journalists.

WHAT:  The Obama Administration and the Press in Post-9/11 America – a CPJ special report

WHEN:  October 10, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. EDT


  • Report: www.cpj.org
  • Press conference with Len Downie and Joel Simon: The Knight Studio at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001). Please use the Group Entrance on C Street.
  • The press conference will be live streamed on www.cpj.org


CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide 

Note to editors: Advance copies of the report will be available upon request and interviews may be arranged prior to launch date. The report will be published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Media contacts:
Magnus Ag
Advocacy and Communications Officer
Committee to Protect Journalists
Tel. +1.212.300.9007
E-mail: [email protected]

Samantha Libby
Communications Associate
Committee to Protect Journalists
Tel. +1 212.300.9032
E-mail: [email protected]