Press Freedom

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is dedicated to promoting an independent free press to ensure full and fair reporting on matters of public interest. We hold accountable those who inhibit journalists in their pursuit of the truth. We equip journalists with the tools to break down free press barriers. And we celebrate the privilege of an independent press to inform the public about decisions and events that affect people’s lives.

Far too many governments and institutions of influence limit the news media’s ability to operate safely and free from interference. In the U.S. or abroad, journalists have died, gone missing, been detained or arrested in their attempts to gather facts and report the news. From foreign capitals to local courthouses, politicians, judges and law enforcement agencies have subverted access to information.

With the National Press Club’s unique presence and resources, we shine a light on these threats to press freedom wherever they arise.

The Institute also partners with the press freedom coalition to support their efforts: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press · Committee to Protect Journalists · Reporters Without Borders · Freedom Forum Institute  · James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

October 29, 2019
Journalist Emilio Gutiérrez Soto to exhibit paintings while awaiting asylum appeal

Journalist Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, chased by death threats in Mexico and deportation fears in the U.S., has found his emotional peace not through the familiarity of a writer’s keyboard, but at the tip of an artist’s brush. Own your own story, therapists say, or the story will own you. As he awaits a decision on…

September 27, 2019
173 Members of Congress send bipartisan letter to White House urging release of journalist Austin Tice

A bipartisan letter was sent Friday morning to President Donald Trump, signed by 173 members of Congress, asking him to work urgently toward the safe return of veteran U.S. Marine Corps captain and award-winning journalist Austin Tice, who has been held in Syria for seven years. Tice, a Georgetown graduate and law student, was detained…

September 12, 2019
NPCJI honors Julie K. Brown with investigative journalism award

Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald journalist who gave voice to Jeffrey Epstein’s long-ignored victims and prompted a legal re-examination of Epstein’s predatory behavior, will receive the National Press Club Journalism Institute’s 2019 Neil and Susan Sheehan award for investigative journalism. Brown’s work revealed a decade-old secret plea bargain that hid the scope of accusations…

August 2, 2019
Volunteers canvass Capitol to ‘Ask About Austin’

Austin Tice, a writer and photographer, was detained in Syria in August 2012, three days after his 31st birthday. The U.S. government believes Austin is alive and being held by an affiliate of the Syrian government. He is the only American journalist currently being held overseas. Please join the Tice family in urging the White…

July 10, 2019
Journalists under attack: How to protect yourself

The National Press Foundation and the National Press Club Journalism Institute partnered on June 28, 2019 for a workshop on situational awareness, defusing dangerous situations, and protecting yourself before, during and after an online attack. Watch the videos below to learn from the training. You can also find additional resources here and here.

June 26, 2019
Institute will be home to Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation

Next week marks the first anniversary of the deadliest assault against journalists in U.S. history. On June 28, 2018, a gunman opened fire at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five and injuring two. We will always remember Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith, as well…

June 20, 2019
Send a Message to Secretary Pompeo and Your Members of Congress

The messages below can be sent to Secretary Pompeo or your Member of Congress. Just cut and paste the text into the forms linked below, then add your name. Dear Secretary Pompeo, I am writing to urge you to continue employing all diplomatic means to secure the safe release and return of Austin Tice. As…

June 20, 2019
Austin Tice is the only U.S. journalist being held abroad

American freelance journalist Austin Tice’s last post on Twitter was Aug. 11, 2012. It was his 31st birthday and he was spending it with Free Syrian Army soldiers, the rebel forces he had been following as a war reporter since that May. Two days later, as he got ready to leave Syria for Lebanon, he…

June 20, 2019
Emilio Gutiérrez Soto appeals U.S. asylum denial

In May 2008, Mexican soldiers burst into Emilio Gutiérrez-Soto’s home and ransacked it. A month later, a friend of Gutiérrez with contacts in the military, warned him he had been placed on a hit list. His offense: Being a journalist. To Gutiérrez, the message was clear — his stories about corrupt soldiers for El Diario…

June 17, 2019
National Press Club calls on authorities to investigate murder of Mexican journalist

The National Press Club and its Journalism Institute condemn the murder of Mexican journalist Norma Sarabia Garduza and call on Mexican authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate this cowardly assassination. She is the sixth journalist killed in Mexico this year. Sarabia, who covered crime and violence in Mexico’s southeast state of Tabasco, was gunned down…