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SPJ Letter to the Editor in support of free press


Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, rbaker@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted to newspapers across the country to show support in their efforts to fight against repeated attacks on the media.

Dear Editor,

The Society of Professional Journalists, the largest, most broad-based journalism organization in the country, stands in solidarity with the 200-plus newspapers publishing editorials today to fight back against repeated attacks on the media.

SPJ’s more than 7,000 members believe in two things: The First Amendment and the SPJ Code of Ethics. The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” And the SPJ Code of Ethics is a guide to journalists around the world for covering news responsibly.

Its four tenets tell journalists to:

1. Seek Truth and Report it

2. Minimize Harm

3. Act Independently

4. Be Accountable and Transparent

These goals may sound uncontroversial. Yet since the United States’ inception, some in positions of power have sought to silence the vigilant and courageous watchdogs of the press. Current times are no different. The more those with power spread rhetoric to silence journalism, the more evident it becomes that it is direly needed.

We at the Society of Professional Journalists hope that today will be a wake-up call to the millions of Americans who cherish the freedom of expression guarded by the First Amendment.


J. Alex Tarquinio
SPJ National President-elect
Indianapolis, Indiana

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 Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.


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