Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

As Press Freedoms Erode, National Press Club Urges Congress To Act On First Amendment Rights

May 6, 2010 by  

As press freedoms erode, National Press Club urges Congress to act on First Amendment rights A new poll from Freedom House—an independent watchdog organization—has found that press freedoms around the world continued to erode in 2009, and the trend has not spared the United States.

Among Western democracies Italy and the UK have been singled out for harshest criticism, the latter for its expansive libel laws that can be used to stifle critics. This has led to what observers call "libel tourism," whereby plaintiffs sue foreigners, including Americans, in British courts.

The organization also stated that the United States lacked adequate Federal protection-of-sources legislation, and media diversity was threatened by the news industry’s economic troubles.

In a related development, The National Press Club (NPC) urged the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would discourage foreign lawsuits that limit American authors’ and journalists’ First Amendment rights.

According to the NPC, the legislation in Congress discourages the practice by making it clear that foreign libel judgments must meet American defamation standards to be recognized in the U.S.

"There is no right more precious to journalists than the ability to write and speak freely," said club president Alan Bjerga. "Congress must enact legislation that protects First Amendment rights and tells the world ‘libel tourism’ is wrong."ADNFCR-1961-ID-19758084-ADNFCR

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “As Press Freedoms Erode, National Press Club Urges Congress To Act On First Amendment Rights”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.