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Thirty media and tech companies join new ‘Protect Press Freedom’ campaign


A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Coming Thursday: Some of the country’s best-known media companies, tech companies, and nonprofits are supporting a national campaign called “Protect Press Freedom.”

Two nonprofit orgs, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and the Committee to Protect Journalists, are leading the effort. And 30+ partners, including CNN, are on board.

The Protect Press Freedom campaign “will educate Americans about the threats to press freedom, reinforce the values underpinning the free press, and celebrate the diverse journalism that keeps the public informed,” the groups said. And: “Through video, radio, digital, print, and social media assets, the campaign communicates a simple, powerful truth: In order to be free, we must be informed.”

The partners who have agreed to run PSAs and ads include: CBS, CNN, NBC, Reuters, Facebook, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Sinclair, NPR, Twitter, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Barron’s, McClatchy, Scripps, Gannett/USA Today Network, and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

>> RCFP exec director Bruce Brown: “We’re proud to bring news outlets and organizations together to have a conversation with the public about press freedom and encourage people to stand up for their right to information.”

>> Big picture: This campaign gets at a gnawing concern that journalists frequently bring up with me. They say that President Trump is framing the discussion about modern news media with his hateful, destructive “enemy of the people” rhetoric. They wonder about who/what is countering his claims with a more honest portrayal of the press corps. This campaign is part of the answer…

TIME’s feature inside the Capital Gazette

TIME magazine is coming out with a new story and TIME Studios film about the aftermath of the Capital Gazette shooting. “One Year Later: Inside the Capital Gazette,” directed by Moises Saman, with Paul Moakley, will be online after midnight ET at this link… And Sean Gregory’s story will be in this week’s issue of the magazine…

>> What the paper’s editor Rick Hutzell told TIME: “After the shooting, I set three milestones. Keep the paper going. Get us into a new office. And get through the trial. Two down.”

>> The killer recently pled guilty, but the remainder of trial, which will be “focused on the murderer’s mental state,” will still be difficult for the staff, Moakley wrote…

>> “Putting out the paper has value besides what’s in the paper,” Hutzell said. “Every day you’re here is another day farther away from what happened. Every day you’re here is another day when you’re alive. And we have friends who are not. Every day here is another day we can honor their memories, and do the work we love.”


— The lead story on Page One of Thursday’s NYT: “Giuliani led push to sway Ukraine, top witness said…” (NYT)

— Adam Schiff’s big announcement: the House will begin televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry next Wednesday… (CNN)

— C-SPAN’s reminder: The networks will carry “full, uninterrupted, and unfiltered video coverage…” You can “sign up to get a daily, complete C-SPAN Program Guide…” (C-SPAN)

— While Trump and his allies brace for open hearings, White House officials “are gripping for another consequence: a President consumed by the developments,” CNN’s W.H. team reports… (CNN)

Read more of Wednesday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…

“Impeachment transcripts reveal a consistent, damaging narrative for Trump,” Andrew Desiderio writes: “The witness testimonies released so far are all aligned, offering Democrats a powerful political weapon in public hearings…” (POLITICO)

An “anti-endorsement”

The Nation is coming out with “Joe Biden: An Anti-Endorsement” on Thursday morning. The progressive magazine is calling on Biden “to put service to country above personal ambition and withdraw from the race.” The editorial will be live early in the A.M. at this link.

The magazine is coming out with an investigative piece by Joseph N. DiStefano at the same time… It is titled “Joe Biden’s Friends and Backers Come Out on Top—at the Expense of the Middle Class…”

Sessions is running

“Jeff Sessions is poised to announce his comeback Senate candidacy on Thursday,” CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported. “He faces not only a GOP primary in Alabama, but also President Trump, who has never forgiven Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia probe. Is his fate in Trump’s hands?”

After the announcement, Sessions will join Tucker Carlson live: Fox says “the interview will be Sessions’ first since resigning from office” this time last year…

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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