The Freedom of US Journalism is Under Attack
Matt Bernardini on the alarming decline in the freedom of the US press
When police raided a small-town US newspaper and took much of its equipment last month, it looked more like a scene out of Vladimir Putin’s Russia rather than the heartland of America. Yet the move represented the culmination of a growing trend in America, where freedom of the press exists in name only, and journalists increasingly find it harder to operate.
On 11 August, the Marion, Kansas police force raided the offices of the Marion County Record. Without explaining why they were there, they seized every computer and phone in the newspaper’s office. They also went to the home of the paper’s publisher, 98-year-old Joan Meyer, and took equipment from her. Meyer tragically died the next day, which the newspaper blamed on stress from the prior day’s raid.