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.