CPJ urges US to mitigate threats to journalism, newsgathering

Letter to President Barack Obama highlights threats to press freedom in the United States

New York, September 22, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama today, expressing its concern about the effects that intelligence and law enforcement activities have on the free flow of news. The letter, which comes days after CPJ launched its Right to Report in the Digital Age campaign, outlines a pattern of surveillance of journalists and news outlets as well as aggressive leak investigations that target journalists with subpoenas and search warrants, actions that have a chilling effect on journalism.

“We ask that you do more to ameliorate the effect of pervasive surveillance on the free flow of news,” wrote CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon and CPJ Board Chairman Sandra Mims Rowe. “We recognize the government’s vital interest in protecting U.S. national security, but there must be reasonable limits–and meaningful, independent checks–on the powers of any one person, agency, or branch of government.”

In October 2013, CPJ released a comprehensive report on press freedom in the United States, called “The Obama Administration and the Press,” and sent a letter to President Obama requesting a meeting. CPJ has not yet received an official response. CPJ continues to request a meeting with President Obama to discuss its concerns and recommendations to improve the press freedom climate in the United States.

Sign the #RightToReport in the Digital Age petition here.


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

Media contact:

Samantha Libby

Communications Associate

Committee to Protect Journalists

[email protected]

212-300-9032. Ext 124