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RSF Launches #PressFreedomPact Ahead Of November Elections

As the first 2020 presidential debate opens in the United States, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched the “#PressFreedomPact,” a campaign challenging candidates running for office in November’s elections to publicly commit to upholding the principles of press freedom.

Building on RSF’s eight press freedom recommendations for candidates, the #PressFreedomPact seeks to defend the vital role of the free press by asking candidates to publicly affirm their commitment to the principles of press freedom as upheld by the First Amendment. The #PressFreedomPact provides a key opportunity for the nation's political leaders to address the need to protect press freedoms at home — and to set a better example abroad.

“We launch this campaign at a crucial moment, with press freedom under greater attack than ever before in the United States and globally. These elections are the moment to turn that around — to begin to rectify the damage that has been done to the United States' own press freedom record, and to set a more positive example for the rest of the world,” said RSF Director of International Campaigns Rebecca Vincent.

To publicly demonstrate their commitment to protecting press freedom, RSF is asking all candidates running for public office — in the presidential, congressional, and local elections taking place on November 3rd — to sign the #PressFreedomPact, stating:

“I commit to uphold the principles of the First Amendment in my words and actions, my domestic and international policy and in my governance, to protect the vital role of the free press in American democracy, and to lead by example in upholding democratic values throughout the world.”

“The #PressFreedomPact provides a much-needed opportunity for candidates to publicly commit to protecting press freedom. As their first debate opens, we challenge President Donald Trump and Joe Biden to lead by example by being the first to sign the #PressFreedomPact,” said RSF USA advocacy manager, Daphne Pellegrino.

RSF has worked with the advertising agency BETC in developing this campaign, which will be promoted in key US media and on social media — starting with live-tweeting during the September 29 presidential debate.

The United States is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

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