WORKHOUSE is proud to support the independent voice of our national media. Through the creation of the #FreePress pullover, we underscore our firm commitment to journalists everywhere who should remain uncontrolled or restricted by government censorship or politics. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the #FreePress Pullover will benefit Freedom of the Press Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to protect and defend adversarial journalism in the 21st century. Freedom of the Press uses crowdfunding, digital security, and internet advocacy to support journalists and whistleblowers worldwide. To learn more about the Freedom of the Press Foundation visit the organization here https://freedom.press
In 2017, the 45th President of the United States labeled the press an “Enemy of the American People” in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempts to block White House access to multiple media outlets, routine use of the term “Fake News” in retaliation of critical reporting, while calling for media outlets’ broadcasting licenses to be revoked. President Trump routinely singled out news outlets and individual journalists for their coverage of him, and retweeted several violent memes targeting CNN. The violent anti-press rhetoric from the White House has been coupled with an increase in the number of press freedom violations at the local level as journalists run the risk of arrest for covering protests or simply attempting to ask public officials questions. Reporters have even been subject to physical assault while on the job. Press freedom violations in our country have become so frequent that a coalition of two dozen press freedom organizations launched the US Press Freedom Tracker documenting 34 journalist arrests in 2017 alone, the majority while covering protests
“Fake news” is more than an insult — it hampers the press in its efforts to protect the public. Thomas Jefferson famously mused that he’d rather have newspapers without a country than a country without newspapers, and for good reason. An independent press ensures that citizens stay informed about the actions of their government, creating a forum for debate and the open exchange of ideas. And the press also occupies another critical role: watchdog.
The Revolution will be editorialized. Regardless of where you fall politically, the American media stands on the front lines as the guardians of freedom. The First Amendment is only 45 words, but it is enshrined as an essential pillar of democracy. Free press will always provide illumination within the darkness. Demand it remain protected.
“We’re in a situation now where one party controls three branches of the government, so the fourth estate, the press, is really the last mechanism that the public has to force accountability on government,” says Trevor Timm of the World Press Freedom Foundation. But if people don’t believe the mainstream media can be trusted, then they won’t believe journalists if they publish evidence of corruption or illegal activity by the government. That’s the troubling situation we could find ourselves in if “fake news” becomes shorthand for reporting that the government doesn’t agree with.
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