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Freedom of the Press

 

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Amendment 1

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Active Indicators

Active Indicators Over Time

Current status of freedom of press indicators

weighted authoritarian value of active freedom of press indicators, over time

 

about this category

Freedom of the Press and Transparency is essential to a functional, accessible democracy—and for citizens to know that they can hold their leaders accountable, without fear of reprisal.

There are 22 indicators for Freedom of the Press and Transparency. Each indicator has a severity level on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being less severe and 5 being the most severe. We rate activity on each indicator along a scale of 1-10, with 1 being slightly active and 10 being fully active. Updates are made monthly.

The donut graph on the left shows how many indicators are currently active for Freedom of the Press and Transparency. The bar graph on the right shows the “weighted authoritarian value” for Freedom of the Press and Transparency at a given moment—that is, a value that reflects the active indicators multiplied by their severity ranking. You can see the status and severity of each indicator (along with relevant news articles) in the table below, as well as the 90-day trend: if the indicator has recently become active, there's a warning symbol, but if it has become inactive, there's a forward-pointing green arrow instead.

 

INDICATOR

ACTivity

SEVERITY (1-5)

90 DAY TREND



Administration officials cut off from speaking on background / off record.

inactive2.png

3

no change.png


Press corps barred from accompanying POTUS during travel.

inactive.png

3

no change.png



Administration ends regularly scheduled press briefings with press secretary.

inactive.png

2

no change.png


USG pursues lawsuits against media outlets.

inactive.png

4

no change.png




Journalist(s) arrested or killed after reporting negatively on administration.

inactive.png

5

no change.png

Administration takes action to shut down a media organization (successful or unsuccessful).

inactive.png

5

no change.png

Congress passes new legislative limitations on what can be published in the media.

inactive.png

5

no change.png

White House Press Corps disbanded.

inactive.png

5

no change.png

FOIA repealed by Congress.

inactive.png

5

no change.png

FOIA timelines slowed or executive branch suspends FOIA rules.

inactive.png

5

no change.png

Definition of classified information expanded to include information that was previously considered of public interest (e.g., national security letters to telecoms).

inactive.png

5

no change.png

Passage of broad anti-defamation laws to include previously protected speech.

inactive.png

5

no change.png