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Free the Press Campaign

Press Briefing
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine
Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner 

Threats to journalists take many different forms, but each has the same chilling effects: limiting the news that can be safely gathered or disseminated, silencing voices of dissent, and restricting freedom of expression. In the run-up to World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), May 3, the “Free The Press” campaign will focus on the many ways in which journalists are under duress around the world, including imprisonment, laws that restrict media freedom and freedom of expression on the internet, journalists killed or disappeared on the job, intimidation, threats and fines. We will also focus on the consequences for society when repressive tactics are used to prevent the free flow of information.


Speakers: Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner

Topic: “Free the Press Campaign”

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time: 9:45 EST | 13:45 GMT |14:45 West Africa | 15:45 Central/South Africa | 16:45 East Africa

Language: English

U/S Sonenshine
A/S Posner

Groundrules: ON THE RECORD

Dial-in Information:
International: 1-517-308-9458
US (Domestic): 800-369-1183

Verbal Pass Code: “Africa”

RSVP: To with names and affiliations of journalists by 10 a.m. GMT, Wednesday, April 18th


  • We will ask that callers dial-in to the conference call 10 minutes early.
  • When an individual journalist dials-in, the operator will collect the caller’s name, press affiliation, and location.
  • When an embassy dials in, the operator will NOT ask the embassy coordinator for the names of every journalist at the participating embassy, but only the embassy’s name and location.
  • The speaker will give brief opening remarks.
  • The moderator will facilitate the Q and A between FPC and connected callers. Journalists on the conference call will be instructed to push the “star” and “one” buttons on their phones in order to enter the question queue. NOTE: You can press star one at any time during the call to join the question queue, even before the moderator begins the Q and A portion of the call. We ask that journalists limit themselves to one question only for each time they press “star” and “one”. Participants may press “star” and “one” more than once should they wish to ask more than one question.
  • The moderator will then announce the location of each questioner. The questioner should state his/her name and affiliation before asking the question.
  • Near the end of the allotted time, the moderator will announce the last question. At the end of the final answer, the operator will announce the conclusion of the conference call.