First Amendment Panel Ranks a Free Press as Most at Risk

Reviewers for the second quarter in a row ranked freedom of the press as the most at risk in an assessment of threats to freedoms protected under the First Amendment.

The reviewers, including yours truly, gave press freedom another C in the second quarterly report card issued by the Newseum Institute, the center affiliated with the Newseum in Washington, DC that promotes the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

Reviewers cited physical assaults on reporters and calls for prosecutions of journalists among other threats to journalists.

Threats on journalists appear to be clearly on the minds of the American public. A Pew Research Center poll in April 2017 found that a majority of Americans believe the tensions between the Trump administration and the news media has hampered the public’s ability to be informed about political topics. Americans are highly aware of the attacks on the press.

94% of Americans say they have heard about the current state of the relationship between the Trump administration and the news media. And what they’ve seen does not reassure them: Large majorities feel the relationship is unhealthy and that the ongoing tensions are impeding Americans’ access to important political news.