May 17th, 2010
10:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Feds to step up monitoring of global press freedom

 President Obama will sign the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act Monday.
President Obama will sign the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act Monday.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is set to sign legislation Monday expanding the federal government's role in monitoring global freedom of the press, according to the White House.

Obama will sign the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which requires a greater examination of the status of press freedoms in different countries in the State Department's Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Among other things, the State Department will be required to "identify countries in which there were violations of press freedom; determine whether the government authorities of those countries participate in ... or condone the violations; and report the actions such governments have taken to preserve the safety and independence of the media," according to a statement from Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, one of the bill's primary sponsors.

The measure is named for Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by extremists in Pakistan shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"The horrific murder of Daniel Pearl that shocked the world also opened our eyes to the abuse and harassment that many journalists face, too often at the hands of government authorities. With this bill, we pay tribute to Daniel's life and his work by shedding a bright light on this repression, and hope to prevent this sort of tragedy from ever happening again," Dodd said in the statement.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 811 journalists have been killed worldwide while doing their jobs since 1992, the year the organization started keeping track of such incidents. The greatest number of casualties have come in Iraq, where 142 members of the media have lost their lives.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. File under "Sarcasm"

    Spending money to monitor foreign freedom of the press = more bureaucracy and more wasted money.

    May 17, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Dwayne

    Maybe Obama should be less concerned with what other countries are doing with their "freedom of the press" and worry about what he is proposing with our freedom. He is very active in trying to control the internet and the traffic of information, as well as making sure that any information that is out there that he "deems as damaging to his administration" is shut down. He and his liberal cohorts have done more to damage freedom than any other adminstration to this point.

    May 17, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Dean

    Dodd should know all about corruption.
    Someone should do something about the liberal media slant in this country.

    May 17, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Another waste of time

    Obama is off fighting windmills again while he keeps troops in Afghan and iraq just to appease the Joint Chiefs so that the military can continue its "Live Fire Extended Training Actions" in the two countries, while at the same time we continue to draw the ire of the Muslim World.

    And now Obama wants money to give to Isreal for missle defense. How about this Mr President – No missles for Isreal and no military aid until they dismantle the settmenets and put a halt fo building in the Gaza and jerusalem territories? No, that would require some political courage - and you would lose the Jewish bloc of money ... pathetic sell out

    May 17, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    This coming from the President who, in a speech last week, cried and whined about there being too much information.

    Hypocrite.

    May 17, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. SuperD

    What a joke, Obama controls NBC, CBS and ABC. It's against the law to criticize him.

    May 17, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Mark from Louisiana

    Will they investigate NBC, otherwise know as the National Barrack Channel?

    May 17, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Press freedom is a dangerous thing for people like Obama, Chavez and Castro. If they stop fawning and hint at the slightest bit of criticism, we saw what happned in Venezuala, Cuba and with Fox and the Obama dictatorship.

    May 17, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Obama the liar

    Start with the N.Y. Times and Washington Post. Two Obama worshippers.

    May 17, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Fed Up

    Can he do something about freedom of the press on this side of the pond? Seems like ABC, NBC and CBS are not allowed to report correctly on things. I know ABC reporters can not wear the flag lapel pins. Do we live in America? Only Fox News decided to buck the status quo. They got kicked out of the White House reporters meetings. Hmmmmmm.

    May 17, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Bob in PA

    Yeah right !, He just wants to see who supresses freedom of the press the best so he can run with it here

    May 17, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Angus McDugan

    Wow!!!! From an administration that is wanting to shut down the only news organization that challenges the administration.

    Comrade Obama wants to control your gun, your words, and your rights. He wants you dependent on and fearful of the government.

    May 17, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Ron in California

    What a joke....Obama and his cronies hate the press who challenge their policies...and have demonstrated open disdain towards them. Now they are concerned about freedom of the press elsewhere in he world? Focus on jobs at home.

    May 17, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Peter E

    Yes, I'm sure the rest of the world's governments would love to have our freedom of the press, where you can openly, without any repurcussion, repeatedly keep calling your government, or even anyone you disagree with Stalin or Hitler! They surely will follow in our footsteps.

    May 17, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |