Since its founding in 1946, RTDNA has supported and defended the First Amendment. In today's climate of distrust and amid growing attacks on journalism, RTDNA is renewing its commitment to speak out for freedom of the press by establishing the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.

The goals of the task force include not only reacting to threats to First Amendment Freedoms, but proactively supporting journalists and educating the public about the importance of a free press to our democracy. The task force is a collaborative effort with broadcast and digital journalism companies, like-minded media associations and others to provide a vigorous defense for the First Amendment, news media access and to combat the growing vitriol toward journalism in the current divisive political and ideological environment.

RTDNA and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force has joined more than 20 press freedom organizations in launching the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a new website dedicated to documenting press freedom abuses across the United States. The site serves as a repository for data at a time when journalists in the U.S. are facing obstruction, threats, hostility, legal charges, assault, and other forms of harassment.

San Diego Crew OK After Attack During Live Shot

Emails Warn Workers At Colorado Capitol Not To Speak To Press​

US Air Force orders freeze on public outreach

LRSD Teacher Arrested for Criminal Trespass at TV Stations​

Marine Corps bans journalist and veteran James LaPorta from Camp Lejeune base​

Documentary journalist Nora Donaghy subpoenaed to testify before grand jury

New suit beefs up effort to free Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez from federal detention​

NRA issues threatening video warning journalists 'your time is running out'

The dangers of the paper route

New York Post, media organizations sue to keep body cam footage public

Treasury blocks footage of hecklers at Mnuchin interview

Utah House passes 'noncompete' bill

Utah House panel votes to restrict reporters on House floor

Las Vegas judge orders Review-Journal and AP not to report on publicly-available autopsy report​

Media companies sue for security videos from exterior of Stoneman Douglas building

Former White House aide Seb Gorka shoves Mediaite reporter at CPAC​

California Highway Patrol officer stops local radio host, seizes his press pass​

Commentary: Utah‘s HB241 would undermine the role of news in society

Hoax attempts against Miami Herald augur brewing war over fake, real news

NRA spokeswoman: "Many in legacy media love mass shootings"

Judge Rules News Publishers Violated Copyright by Embedding Tweets of Tom Brady Photo

Reporter found guilty of disorderly conduct in clash with police captured on video

Man bashes sign outside FOX 11 studios with crucifix he stole from church

Conservative radio host says he was fired for being critical of Donald Trump

‘Help Me Howard’ reporter attacked while trying to interview Bronx mechanic wielding baseball bat​

What some reporters get wrong about the First Amendment​ (Don't be that person - Know your rights)

CMS threatens to bar Modern Healthcare from press calls after reporter refuses to alter story

2017 was the most dangerous year ever for journalists. 2018 might be even worse.

Freedom of the Press Foundation will preserve Gawker’s archives

Jon Ziegler attacked by white nationalist protesters in Tennessee

White House aides shout down CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions President Trump

Two TV Journalists Fight Grand Jury Subpoena After Interviewing Suge Knight in Prison

Man arrested, accused of threatening to kill CNN employees

Speakers protest detention of Mexican journalist on press freedom, moral, legal grounds

Trump Calls for Crowing King of Fake News

Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards’ could violate ethics rules

Trump Renews Pledge to ‘Take a Strong Look’ at Libel Laws

Trump lawyer files lawsuits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS over dossier​

Border inspections of electronic devices hits record number​

National Press Club effort to free Mexican journalist reaches 'crucial phase'

Trump lawyer sends cease-and-desist to Michael Wolff publisher​

Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked on Twitter after violating terms of service

Iowa justice blocks newspaper from reporting court records

‘This is unprecedented’: Public colleges limiting journalist access

Washington Post reporters barred from Roy Moore election night party​

Mexican journalist seeking asylum in U.S. nearly deported

Nydia Tisdale acquitted of felony charge, guilty of misdemeanor obstruction​

Paul Ryan’s GOP challenger tells columnist to ‘eat a bullet'​

Judge embroiled in Indiana press freedom dispute accused of sexual harrasment

New York City Council member abruptly limits access for City Hall reporters​

EPA Kicks Out InsideSources Reporter From Event With Administrator Scott Pruitt​

Tribune reporter carjacked in Chicago

Donald Trump’s “Fake News” Tactics

Journalist Who Told Laquan McDonald’s Story Faces Fight Over Sources

Ben Jacobs sends cease and desist letter to Greg Gianforte

Roy Moore supporter accosts cameraman at rally

Trump attacks media in his first post-Thanksgiving tweet

If cops can get phone data without a warrant, it could be a nightmare for journalists — and sources

Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, incident report shows

Roy Moore supporters call journalists part of a 'mob,' 'disgraceful'

Robocall Impersonating Washington Post Reporter Pretends To Seek Dirt On Roy Moore​

North Dakota files objection to extended courtroom media coverage​

New York Times photographer tweets ‘photo’ of black box to protest White House coverage blackout

Chris Wallace: Donald Trump Behind Most Sustained Press Assault In Our History”

In China, Trump continues war on media by bowing to demand for no questions from reporters

Maine anchor says a viewer harrassed him becase of his sexual orientation

Vermont TV station evacuated after bomb threat

“This is political”: CNN sees Trump’s hand in Justice Department’s merger crackdown

Buffalo lawmakers seek to contain reporters

Media files lawsuit against Las Vegas police for public records in 1 October shooting

Are billionaires who own news outlets good or bad for journalism?

Reporter access curtailed at Capitol after protest

Appeals court upholds judges' right to suppress audio records

Democratic-leaning journalist arrested at Virginia GOP campaign event

Knife-wielding man chases two tv reporters, city council candidate in Yakima

U.N. rights expert assails Trump administration on press treatment

Don Lemon files police report over Twitter death threat

Republican official 'would have shot' Guardian reporter attacked by Gianforte

Indiana lawmaker drafts bill to license journalists

Soap opera actor slaps reporter in the face on red carpet

Trump doubles down on broadcast license threats

New York Press Club issues statement on Mayor's closed-door meeting

NYPD insincere about transparency

The most difficult place in America to practice journalism

Four more journalists arrested in St. Louis

Can the First Amendment save us?

When a journalist is arrested covering a protest, what should the news outlet do?

UT Austin journalist assaulted while covering protest

Appeals court nixes TV coverage of key arguments on LGBT rights

Student journalists among those attacked by police in St. Louis

GOP governors launch ‘news’ site critics call propaganda

Journalists detained in St. Louis protests

Michigan journalist assaulted while recording protestors

Protesters threaten St. Louis TV reporter, toss water at him

Sessions seeks leak investgation rule change

Missouri blogger assaulted at his home

Louisville TV station fights warrant for reporter's notes, video in officer shooting

Charge dismissed against arrested West Virginia journalist

KTVU anchor: 'I experienced hate firsthand' at Berkeley rally

'We were targets because we had cameras' at Antifa rally

Judge orders tech co. to release user data from anti-Trump website

Trump portrays journalists as anti-American enemy

Media lets loose its fury after Trump attacks

Court ruling could affect future media lawsuits

White supremacist threatens Afro-Latina anchor
(Caution: Contains Offensive Language)

White House still holding back visitor information

Trial set for Iowa reporter who recorded 'Bachelor' hearing

CNN won't air Trump 'president's enemies' campaign ad without changes

First Amendment assault could have ramifications for press freedom

Journalist targeted by Fox News anchor threatens sanctions if $50M suit isn't dropped

The lawyers who shut down Gawker go after another online news organization

ACLU sues governors, president, for blocking social media followers

Kushner, Secret Service try to force reporter to delete recording

NRA tells New York Times, 'We're Coming For You'

Bullet goes through Vermont reporter's window

Some leaks considered good, others bad

R. Kelly 'cult' story almost never ran

'Fake news' tactics disrupt newsgathering

WH asks Correspondents Association to criticize reporter

Maine Governor suggests making up stories to mislead media

Springfield, MO city council's method to fill open seat may have violated open meeting law

President appears to promote violence against CNN with tweet

San Antonio prosecutor excludes paper from news conference

Indiana judge blocks broadcast of hearing, station appeals

Two journalists arrested at Twin Cities protest

CNN chief blames Trump for threats against reporters

Reporter handcuffed for taking pictures

Senate Republicans crack down on press access

Gianforte pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

Gianforte apologizes to Jacobs for attack

Windows shattered by bullets at Kentucky newspaper

Texas governor jokes about shooting reporters

Senate candidate who punched reporter in 1981 says he'd do it again

Congressional candidate allegedly 'body slams' reporter

Iowa judge sets tight rules in celebrity case

Tampa mayor jokes about firing weapon at media

Indiana judge bars broadcast of courtroom recording

FCC guards eject reporter for asking questions

West Virginia police arrest reporter for asking questions

Las Vegas news photographer arrested during protest


Subscribe to Voice of the First Amendment updates. Media companies, journalists, educators, students and members of the general public interested in supporting, or participating in the task force’s efforts, can contact us at or call Executive Director Dan Shelley at 212-246-0398.



Sunshine Week: Government transparency more important than ever

It's too often slow, costly, or impossible to access information of vital public concern. Read our statement here.

RTDNA calls on Kentucky State Police to rescind unconstitutional order

Order attempts to compel journalists to withhold reporting. Read our statement here.

RTDNA applauds Georgia Supreme Court ruling in high-profile murder case

Court voided a gag order, ruling it unconstitutional. Read our statement here.

RTDNA demands transparency in investigations of Missouri governor

Investigation is of vital public interest and must be conducted openly. Read our statement here.

RTDNA applauds Washington governor for vetoing legislative secrecy bill

Veto is a First Amendment victory for Washington. Read our statement here.

RTDNA urges Washington governor to veto bill exempting lawmakers from open records laws

Senate Bill 6617 is an affront to people of Washington. Read our statement here.

RTDNA statement in response to outlandish NRA claim

We are journalists and we do what we do because you have a right to know. Read our statement here.

Why America needs the Journalist Protection Act - Dan Shelley

Read our statement here.

RTDNA demands Georgia Senate press office respect First Amendment

Threat to revoke press credentials is an assault on the public's right to know. Read our statement here.

‘Alternative news’ site signals tough year for responsible journalism

Attacking responsible journalists has become a new normal. Read our statement here.

RTDNA supports Journalist Protection Act

Bill would make it a federal crime to injure or intimidate journalists. Read our statement here.

Know Your Rights: Safety

Know how to stay safe when you're on a story. Read our statement here.

“Fake news” death threats portend deep problem for all journalists

RTDNA urges journalists to be mindful of security but not be intimidated. Read our statement here.

Eight journalists enter 2018 facing criminal charges

Journalists are facing possible fines and jail time just for doing their jobs. Read our statement here.

Trump puts journalists in a world of s&!%

Newsrooms faced an ethical and possibly legal conundrum. Read our statement here.

RTDNF announces 2018 First Amendment Award honorees

28th annual awards recognize First Amendment Champions. Read our statement here.

In two days Trump first champions, then assaults, First Amendment

A rare public meeting was followed by a call for libel review. Read our statement here.

2018: The year ahead for press freedom

Attacks on the press may continue, but so will those of us pursuing responsible journalism. Read our statement here.

Urgent! Save Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez

Award-winning journalist faces deportation tantamount to a death sentence. Read our statement here.

RTDNA calls on Iowa Supreme Court to reverse prior restraint order

Justice forbade reporter from publishing legally obtained documents. Read our statement here.

Thank you, Sen. McCain, for standing up for a free press

McCain encouraged President Trump to stop his attacks on responsible journalism. Read our statement here.

Responsible journalism wins in Alabama

But the war is far from over. Read our statement here.

RTDNA’s action against threatening t-shirt sparks First Amendment debate

First Amendment right or crossing a line? Read our statement here.

Walmart pulls threatening shirt at RTDNA's urging

'Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED' shirt removed from Read our statement here.

Mexican journalist faces possible ‘death sentence’ from U.S. government

Journalist facing death threats in Mexico denied asylum. Read our statement here.

Journalist on trial in DC for doing his job

Live streamer faces multiple felony charages in incident captured on video. Read our statement here.

Alabama Senate race: A preview of 2018

Attacks on journalists are the result of enhanced anti-news media vitriol. Read our statement here.

A First Amendment victory in St. Louis

Federal court orders police to change their tactics when dealing with protests. Read our statement here.

Attorney General again refuses to say he won’t go after journalists

RTDNA urges journalists not to be intimidated by threats to press freedom Read our statement here.

This may be the most serious Trump threat to press freedom yet

What other steps might the president take in the future to go after responsible journalism? Read our statement here.

Watch RTDNA's Free Speech Week discussion on reporters' rights: 

Since launching the effort, RTDNA has been working with leaders in the industry and other constituencies to assess the problem and to form strategies that will ensure that the public’s right, and need, to know what is going on in their communities, their states and their nation is protected and thrives.

Spearheading the effort is RTDNA Executive Director Dan Shelley, who described the task force’s early findings in Washington, D.C., at a forum organized by the National Press Club's Journalism Institute as part of its press freedom initiative.
Shelley told the panel that RTDNA members across the country are seeing an enhanced level of public vitriol in reaction to the pervasive “fake news” and “enemy of the people” rhetoric that has become even more widespread since the 2016 presidential election.
Watch his full comments:

In response to the feedback the task force has received so far, RTDNA is putting together a plan to, among other things, help the public understand that journalists work hard every day to provide, according to Shelley, “outstanding examples of what I call responsible electronic and digital journalism.”

The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force continues to seek input and develop its comprehensive approach to public education about the importance of journalism, and to combat in other ways the contempt that many elected officials and members of the public have for it.