Journalists push for Senate hearing on a free and unfettered press

INDIANAPOLIS (SPJ) – The Society of Professional Journalists and 30 other journalism and open government organizations sent a letter on July 27 to Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) urging the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.

The letter follows one sent in May by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, requesting this hearing. The Committee last hosted a hearing on the Future of Journalism in May 2009. It plays an important role in shaping the environment in which journalism and media exist and in which journalists seek to work safely.

“We believe now is the time to reaffirm the importance of a free and unfettered press, which has been a cornerstone of democracy for the past 240 years,” the letter states. “Having an open discussion where journalists can talk about their professions, the industry and explain how it all works will hopefully help rebuild trust in a pillar of our democracy, reaffirming to the American people the link between the strength of our nation’s democracy and its free press.”

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