Biden clearly believes in the importance of a free press and deserves praise for actions taken so far.
“It’s the bedrock of democracy,” he said in the opening speech of his global Democracy Summit in December. “It’s how the public stay informed and how governments are held accountable. And around the world, press freedom is under threat.”
At the Democracy Summit, Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced new funding to support independent news organizations struggling to survive, and to support reporters and outlets targeted with litigation.
“The number of ‘news deserts’ around the world is growing, depriving citizens of the accurate, trustworthy information they need to participate fully in civic and political life,” Blinken said.
Blinken also announced the launch of a “media viability accelerator” to make independent press outlets abroad more sustainable. The U.S. is also providing the most funding to a new global initiative supporting at-risk media outlets.
That’s in addition to $236 million that Biden requested in the 2022 budget to support independent media, increasing by more than 40% the commitment made in 2020, Blinken noted.