Nov. 15, 2019 – The NewsGuild-CWA has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and a coalition of more than 20 media organizations supporting a New York newspaper’s fight for attorneys’ fees after a state agency failed to promptly release documents in response to a Freedom of Information Law request. More
Updated Aug. 9, 2018 – The Second Circuit denied a pending petition for rehearing filed by Ghislaine Maxwell in the case of Giuffre v. Maxwell. Immediately after entering the order, the Court began unsealing the material. More
Aug. 9, 2019 – The NewsGuild-CWA joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and three dozen other organizations in signing a letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose the dramatic expansion of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, one of the few laws that criminalizes the publication of truthful information about government activities. The bill expanding the law was recently rushed through Congress without meaningful debate, the letter said. More
Aug. 7, 2019 – The NewsGuild-CWA joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and two dozen other organizations filing a “friend of the court” brief in the case of Amadis v. Department of State, a federal Freedom of Information Act case on appeal to the DC Circuit. The case presents the first opportunity for the DC Circuit to address FOIA’s new “foreseeable harm” standard, which was added as part of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. More
Washington, DC – Unions representing 30,000 reporters, photographers, and broadcast employees are praising a bill filed in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Friday that would make it a federal crime to assault a journalist. A similar bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California in February. More
May 24, 2018 – Mexican journalist Emilio Gutiérrez has won a new hearing on his request for asylum in the U.S., press freedom organizations have reported. The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordered the new hearing, saying a judge must to consider additional evidence supporting the request. The Department of Homeland Security opposed Gutiérrez’s appeal.
The ruling, issued May 15, “means the jailed journalist is, for the moment, safe from deportation,” the National Press Club said in a statement announcing the decision.
Attorneys for Gutiérrez and his son plan to renew their request that authorities free them from the Texas detention facility where they have been held since Dec. 7, 2017.
Gutiérrez fled Mexico in 2008 after his reporting on official corruption made him the target of death threats. A single parent, he brought Oscar, his then-15-year-old son, with him through an official port of entry on the U.S. border and requested asylum.
U.S. authorities initially determined that Gutiérrez had a “credible fear” of returning to his Mexico and allowed him to settle in New Mexico. Last summer, however, an El Paso immigration judge denied his asylum request, questioning his credentials as a journalist and the dangers facing him in Mexico.
In its friend-of-the-court brief, the National Press Club and other press freedom organizations offered evidence to support Gutierrez’s claims, including 155 pages of news stories he authored.
They also highlighted recent reports on the dangers facing journalists in Mexico, including a scathing United Nations survey that concluded the Mexican government is allowing reporters to be murdered with impunity.
Since the brief was filed, the Congressional Research Service issued a report about violence against Mexico’s journalists.
“Increasing violent crimes against journalists and the impunity enjoyed by those who perpetrate those crimes have led to journalistic self-censorship in Mexico, inhibiting people’s access to information, government accountability, and freedom of expression,” the report found.
Since ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) first attempted to deport Gutiérrez late last year — an action stopped by the BIA — several more journalists have been murdered in Mexico. The most recent victim, Juan Carlos Huerta, was shot outside his home May 15 in what the local governor described as an execution.
“The dangers facing journalists in Mexico are real and present,” said Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club’s nonprofit Journalism Institute. “We need to grant Emilio asylum and return the U.S. to its long and venerable tradition of providing protection for truth-tellers.”