World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - United States, 12 June 2020

Protest Campaign - United States, 12 June 2020

Article ID:


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

12th June 2020  


Dear Mr. President,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our deep dismay at the hundreds of reports of violence being perpetrated against journalists covering ongoing protests in the United States and to call on you to forcefully condemn these attacks and show unwavering support for a free press.

We have watched with growing alarm over recent weeks as the number of attacks against journalists reported by the US Press Freedom Tracker, a non-partisan online resource that documents press freedom violations in the United States, has steadily risen. There have been over 400 reported incidents related to coverage of current nationwide mass protests against police brutality and in support of social justice following the death of George Floyd in police custody.  

The United States is looked to by countries around the world as a beacon of democracy – a steadfast light that strengthens the resolve of allies whilst deterring adversaries. One of the pillars upon which this faith rests is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the rights of journalists to report freely. This is backed up by a long history of outspoken intervention in support of freedom of expression wherever it is threatened.

Mr President, we respectfully suggest that this would be an appropriate time to reinforce this historical commitment to a free press, clearly and unambiguously, so that it is heard across the country and may resonate around the world. Attacks against journalists must stop. Attacks already perpetrated need to be investigated to the full extent of the law, and the press must be free to carry out its essential role safely and without fear of reprisal.

These are not merely words; they express the deepfelt convictions upon which many of our shared international values are based. They show the extent to which our societies have progressed, what remains to be achieved, and provide warning when we fall short of eradicating all forms of prejudice, repression and hatred. When such principles are imperilled, it is to the highest authority that we look for their rigorous defence.

We urge you – in these unprecedented times – to carefully consider your power to influence action and opinion, both at home and abroad, and to find the appropriate language that will stem the violence and protect journalists from further attack. We echo similar appeals made to you by journalists, press freedom organisations, and industry groups for you to ensure state and local officials take responsibility in ensuring perpetrators of violence against journalists are brought to justice and that such attacks are not repeated. They, the American people, and the world need to hear this from you.

If justice is to be delivered, if the nation is to address the historic failures at the root of these latest protests and begin the long process of healing, then citizens, policymakers and law enforcement officials need reliable independent information to assist them in this process. Journalists need to operate freely and in safety, without fear of attack.

The value a country places upon a free press is a fundamental measure of the health of its democracy, a means to encourage transparency and ensure accountability across public institutions and amongst powerful individuals. We therefore implore you, as Commander in Chief, to reassert this fundamental value as a means of restoring confidence in the ability of the United States to positively lead and influence the global system.


We look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.

Most respectfully,


Fernando De Yarza Lopez-Madrazo
President, WAN-IFRA


Warren Fernandez
President, World Editors Forum


  • In the name of National Member Associations:

Argentinian Press Association (Adepa), Argentina

Austrian Newspaper Association VÖZ, Austria

La, Belgium

Brazilian Newspaper Association (ANJ), Brazil

News Media Canada, Canada

ANP, Chilean National Press Association, Chile

Colombian News Media Association (AMI), Colombia

Czech Publishers Association, Czech Republic

The Danish Media Association, Denmark

Finnish Newspapers Association, Finland

Hungarian Publishers’ Association, Hungary

NewsBrands Ireland, Ireland

Media Business Association, Norway

All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan

APImprensa - Portuguese Publishers Association, Portugal

Union of Print Media Enterprises, Russia

Korean Association of Newspapers, South Korea

Swiss Media Association, Switzerland

Ukrainian Media Business Association (UMBA), Ukraine

News Media Alliance, United States of America


  • The following individual members of the WAN-IFRA Board:

Guy Black, Executive Director, Telegraph Media Group Limited, United Kingdom

Alessandro Bompieri, Managing Director, RCS Media Group, Italy

Phillip Crawley, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, The Globe and Mail, Canada

Edith Dankwa, CEO, Business and Financial Times, Ghana

Daniel Dessein, President, La Gaceta de Tucumán, Argentina

Fatemah Farag, CEO, Welad Elbalad Media, Egypt

Stoyana Georgieva, Founder and Editor-in-Chief,, Bulgaria

Michael Golden, Former Vice Chair, The New York Times, The New York Times Company; Former President, WAN-IFRA, United States

Gerald Grünberger, Geschäftsführer, VÖZ - Verband Österreichischer Zeitungen, Austria

Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director, The Irish Times Ltd., Ireland

Shanth Kumar Kanekal Nettakallappa, Director and Editor, The Printers (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd., India

Gary Liu, CEO, South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd., Hong Kong

Lisa MacLeod, Vice President, WAN-IFRA, United Kingdom

Stig Ørskov, CEO, JP/Politikens Hus A/S, Denmark

Pratap Pawar, Chairman, Sakal Media Private Limited, India

Carlo Perrone, President, ENPA, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A., Italy

DD Purkayastha, Managing Director and CEO, ABP Pvt Ltd., India

Marcelo Rech, Vice President Editorial, RBS-Brazil Zero Hora Editora Jornalistica SA, Brazil

Pia Rehnquist, Head of Content, Bonnier News Local, HD-Sydsvenskan, Sweden

Mujo Selimović, Publisher, Oslobodjenje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

George Shuang, Executive Director, United Daily News, Taiwan

Alvin Sold, Administrateur délégué, L'essentiel, Luxembourg

Rolf Dyrnes Svendsen, Chairman of the Board, Nxtmedia, Norway

Anthony Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd., Singapore

Paul Verwilt, Chief Operations Officer, Mediahuis nv, Belgium


  • And the following individual members of the World Editors Forum Board:

Erik Bjerager, Editor-in-Chief and MD, Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

David Callaway, Founder, Callaway Climate Insights, USA

Catarina Carvalho, Former Editor-in-Chief, Diário de Notícias, Portugal

Javier Garza Ramos, Safety Advisor, World Editors Forum, Mexico

Chani Guyot, CEO and Publisher, RED/Accion, Argentina

Matti Kalliokoski, Opinion Editor, Helsingen Sanomat, Finland

Ritu Kapur, CEO, The Quint, India

Wolfgang Krach, Editor-in-Chief, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

Joanne Lipman, Former Chief Content Officer, Gannett, and Editor-in-Chief, USA Today, USA

Esther Ng, Chief Content Officer, Star Media Group, Malaysia

Rameeza Nizami, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Nawa-i-Waqt and The Nation, Pakistan

Toyosi Ogunseye, Head, BBC West Africa Language Services, BBC, Nigeria

Martha Ramos Sosa, Editorial Director, Organización Editorial Mexicana, Mexico

Pamella Makotsi Sittoni, Executive Editor, The Daily Nation, Nation Media Group, Kenya

Vladimir Sungorkin, General Director and Chief Editor, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia

Tammy Tam, Editor-in-Chief, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

Ingeborg Volan, Head of Publishing Strategy and Visual JournalismDagens NæringslivNorway

David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief, Globe and Mail, Canada



Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2020-06-12 12:31

Contact information

Related nodes


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2020-06-12 11:48


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2020-06-01 10:50