National Press Club

Press Freedom Resources

The National Press Club supports press freedom and government transparency around the world. Check out these websites for more information on this important subject.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press · Committee to Protect Journalists · Reporters Without Borders
National Freedom of Information Coalition · Sunshine Week · Office of Government Information Services

Club Hails Signing of Press Freedom Law

May 17, 2010 | By John Hughes |

The National Press Club hailed the signing of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which will bring greater scrutiny to the treatment of the news media around the world.

The law, which was approved by the House in December and the Senate in April, expands the State Department's annual report on countries to include the status of press freedoms.

Where there are severe violations of those freedoms, the report will examine whether countries participate in, or condone, the restrictions.

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National Press Club Condemns Pentagon Barring of Reporters

May 13, 2010

The National Press Club condemned Monday a recent decision by Defense Department officials to ban four reporters from covering military commission proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The journalists were banned for reporting the name of a witness, even though the person's name was already on the public record.

"The Pentagon decision to bar these reporters is unwarranted, given that the information was already widely known," said Alan Bjerga, president of the National Press Club. "This action serves no purpose other than preventing experienced reporters from doing their jobs."

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National Press Club Decries Police Raid of Virginia Student Newspaper Office

April 19, 2010

The National Press Club called the police raid of a Virginia student newspaper deplorable and urged law enforcement to cease taking any such action in the future.

James Madison University's The Breeze newspaper reported on its Web site that Marsha Garst, Virginia commonwealth attorney for the region, and Harrisonburg police confiscated 926 photos from the newsroom April 16. Most of the photos depicted a riot the police are investigating. The photos have been temporarily sealed until an agreement can be reached, The Breeze reported today.

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NPC urges Congress for legislation discouraging foreign lawsuits that limit First Amendment rights

March 24, 2010

The National Press Club urged the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would discourage foreign lawsuits that limit American authors' and journalists' First Amendment rights.

Plaintiffs, through a practice known as "libel tourism," bring lawsuits against Americans in countries that lack adequate free-speech protections. The legislation in Congress discourages the practice by making it clear that foreign libel judgments must meet American defamation standards in order to be recognized in the U.S.

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NPC applauds Senate bill to strengthen FOIA

March 19, 2010

The National Press Club lauded on Wednesday a bill soon to be introduced in the Senate that aims to speed up the processing of public requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Two senators who have long championed press freedom and open government legislation, Democrat Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Republican John Cornyn of Texas, unveiled the Faster FOIA Act.

The measure would set up an advisory commission that would make recommendations to Congress on ways to expedite the process of obtaining information from U.S. agencies.

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New muffins, pastries at Members' self-serve breakfast

March 9, 2010

Club members who stop by the Reliable Source for breakfast are now offered freshly baked pastries and bite-sized muffins in addition to the fruit, bagels and other goodies on the continental breakfast buffet.

Executive Chef Susan Delbert reports that "replacing the iced Danish of old, the Press Club is now baking pastries every morning so they are served out-of-the-oven warm to members or Press Club guests who arrive early.

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The National Press Club condemns the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Press Club

December 23, 2009

A suicide bomber on Tuesday detonated explosives at the gates of the Club, killing a guard, the Club's accountant and a bystander and wounding at least 20 others. The Club in this northwest Paskistan city had received a series of threats in the month leading up to the suicide attack.

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National Press Club decries embedding censorship

October 16, 2009

The U.S. military’s decision to bar embedded reporters in Afghanistan from publishing photographs of U.S. military personnel injured or killed in action hampers journalists' ability to independently report the war and the public's right to know.

"The U.S. military should not determine what is and is not news," National Press Club President Donna Leinwand said. "Censoring journalists who cover war and permitting only government-approved news and photographs undermines our country's fundamental commitment to a free and independent press."

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NPC Urges Venezuela to End Restrictions on Free Press

August 6, 2009

The National Press Club is distressed by the Venezuelan government's recent actions to intimidate and bully the country's media.

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NPC Statement on the Return of American Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee

August 5, 2009

The National Press Club applauds the release and pardon of American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who arrived in California on Wednesday. The journalists had been held by North Korea since March 17 for allegedly perpetrating "hostile acts" for entering the country while reporting on North Korean refugees living in China.

The journalists, of San Francisco-based Current TV, had been sentenced to 12 years working in North Korean labor camps but were pardoned by North Korean president Kim Jong Il during negotiations with former President Bill Clinton Tuesday.

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