Press Releases

Monday at 3:00pm: Reps. Cohen, Sanford & Conyers to Host Bipartisan Forum on Press Freedom

Washington, DC, July 21, 2017

On Monday, July 24, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Mark Sanford (R-SC), and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) will host a bipartisan forum on freedom of the press entitled, “The State of Press Freedom in 21st Century America.”

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, among other things, that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press . . . .”  A free press is a critical check on the power of government institutions and public officials, yet press freedom may be under threat from various sources. 

The forum will explore, among other topics, the following:

  • President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to seemingly de-legitimize mainstream news outlets by calling them “fake news” and “the enemy of the American people;”
  • Threats by President Trump to change libel laws to make it easier to pursue lawsuits against the press;
  • Aggressive efforts by the Administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to prosecute or pressure journalists;
  • The potential epidemic of misinformation being presented to the public as “news” that may threaten to undermine the credibility of legitimate journalism;
  • Restrictions on access to press briefings; and
  • Physical threats to journalists.


Members of Congress

  • Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN)
  • Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC)
  • House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
  • Additional Members of Congress


  • Marvin Kalb, former Meet the Press Host, CBS and NBC correspondent; Senior Adviser, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; Harvard Professor Emeritus; and Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution
  • Floyd Abrams, Constitutional Litigator and Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law
  • Jeff Ballou, President, National Press Club
  • Jennifer Rubin, Writer of the “Right Turn” Blog, Washington Post
  • Kyle Pope, Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journalism Review
  • Alicia Shepard, Media ethics expert and contributing writer for USA Today
  • Rick Blum, Executive Director, News Media for Open Government

WHAT:          Forum on “The State of Press Freedom in 21st Century America”

WHEN:          Monday, July 24, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:       2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Live Stream: The forum will also be streamed live on House Judiciary Democrats’ Facebook page.