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SPJ concerned about lawsuit targeting free speech


11/21/2023


CONTACT:
Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is concerned about X’s lawsuit against Media Matters for America and one of its staff members. The lawsuit filed on Monday is regarding an investigative report the progressive watchdog group published saying that advertisements from major corporations ran beside Nazi content.

“This lawsuit blatantly targets First Amendment rights and free speech. Media organizations must be allowed to hold the powerful accountable,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “If X is successful, this could set a very dangerous precedent of preventing the free press from reporting facts.”

News of the lawsuit coincided with an announcement made by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of an investigation into Media Matters for possible fraudulent activity; and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said his team was also looking into the matter.

Elon Musk made a statement on Nov. 17 saying “X works to protect the public’s right to free speech” and that the lawsuit is to protect the public’s right to free expression.

“But what Musk is claiming this lawsuit will accomplish is quite the opposite,” Blaize-Hopkins added.

SPJ will continue to monitor the situation.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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