HRC38 event: Press freedom in the United States of America

HRC38 event: Press freedom in the United States of America - Media

Threats to independent media in the era of disinformation

Parallel event to the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council

When: 20 June 2018, 12:30 – 13:30

Where: Room XXIV, Palais des Nations, United Nations at Geneva

In January 2018, a global coalition of press freedom organisations carried out an unprecedented press freedom mission to the United States of America. Despite its strong constitutional protections for freedom of expression, the mission found that media freedom in the United States of America has been gradually eroding over several years.

Prosecutions against whistleblowers and journalists’ sources, attacks and arrests of reporters covering protests in the United States have all increased in recent years. The sweeping use of national security to justify restricting public access to information and an increasingly precarious economic situation for many news outlets are also among the pressing issues faced by media workers in the United States. This correlates with a global trend of shrinking civic space, witnessed in all societies, including established democracies.

Join us on the occasion of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss:

  • What are the main challenges facing media freedom in the United States of America?·
  • How does the situation for media freedom in Washington DC differ from other parts of the country?
  • What are the global ramifications of these trends, and why is multilateralism important to counter them?


Panellists David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression

Jenni Monet, freelance journalist, prosecuted for her coverage of the Dakota Pipeline protests

Martha Steffens, Professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism, and North American Chair, International Press Institute

Sophie Busson, Head of Advocacy, Reporters without Borders

Danson Kahyana, President, PEN Uganda


Thomas Hughes, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19