President of Brazil since 2019 

Predator since taking office

 Brazil, 111th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index

Dear [Name of Candidate],

I am writing to ask you what you plan to do to defend the First Amendment, freedom of the press, and the fundamental rights of journalists to practice their profession freely in what has become an increasingly hostile environment for information and news providers.

The United States, which enshrines press freedom in the First Amendment of its Constitution, is currently witnessing a drastic decline in media freedom. On June 28, one of the most horrific attacks on press freedom in the United States occurred when five employees, including four reporters, were killed at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. According to the US Press Freedom Tracker, which comprehensively documents press freedom violations in the US committed by national, state, and local authorities as well as private individuals, 33 journalists were arrested, 43 were physically attacked, and 15 seizures of journalists’ equipment occurred in 2017. In one of these incidents, Rep. Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a Guardian journalist the night before his state’s election. While covering the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, journalists were impersonated on social media, impeding their ability to accurately investigate the facts and disseminate information which could be vital to preventing a similar tragedy. This hostility towards the press not only risks compromising the American public’s right to be informed through journalists’ reporting, but can also degrade the public’s trust in the media itself.

This is not a partisan issue; it is a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics. Journalism is at the crux of our democracy, and communities everywhere rely on journalists to provide them with information that is essential to their daily decision-making processes. It was local investigative journalist Curt Guyette who broke the story about Flint, Michigan’s lack of access to clean water in 2014, prompting years of class-action lawsuits, protests, and subsequent federal assistance to the city in order to try to resolve the crisis. Reporters Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, and Ronan Farrow publicized sexual assault allegations against influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017, leading to the ubiquitous and powerful #MeToo movement which brought decades of sexual abuse and harassment across multiple industries to light.

Yet freedom of the press in the US is currently in dire need of congressional support. It is our civic duty as one of the world’s leading democracies to uphold principles that support and protect the rights of journalists so that they may hold those in power accountable and ensure an informed and engaged community.

If you are elected, what do you plan to do to protect this utterly essential component of our democracy? What are your plans to protect the public’s right to be informed through a free and independent press?

[Your name]
Hello, my name is _______ and I am from [city, state].

I’m calling to let you know that [candidate/representative]'s stance on freedom of the press is extremely important in my decision to vote. I feel that this is not a partisan issue, but a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics.

I have become increasingly concerned with the growing climate of hostility for journalists in this country, and I would like for [candidate/representative] to publicly address what they will do to defend press freedom if [he/she] is elected.

Thank you.
Freedom of the press is suffering in the US. @[yourcandidate] if you are elected to serve in Congress, what are your plans to protect journalists and our right to be informed? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

Democracy depends on a free and independent press and its ability to hold those in power accountable. [@yourcandidate] will you take measures to protect journalism and the First Amendment? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

In June, four reporters were murdered in an appalling targeted attack on the Capital Gazette and freedom of the press. [@yourcandidate] what will you do to address the growing threat to journalists in this country? #DefendPressFreedom

Press freedom is in steady decline in the US. I want my representative to defend the work of journalists as well as my right to be informed. [@yourcandidate] if you are elected what will you do to protect a free press? #DefendPressFreedom
Journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. And yet in the US, attacks on journalists are becoming more common, undermining the media's role and creating opportunities for government overreach, the erosion of press freedom, and impeding our right to be informed. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join me at

A free press is essential to our democracy. Communities everywhere rely on journalists to report on our government’s actions and hold public figures accountable, providing us with the information we need to make decisions every day. And yet physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists in the US are increasing at an astonishing rate. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. You should too. Read more at

Press freedom is declining in the US at an alarming rate. Physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists have increased drastically in the last two years. As the US midterm elections approach, we must remind our congressional candidates that journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. I’m contacting my representatives and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join in and help me spread the word at


Stay updated on #DefendPressFreedom

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    PREDATORY METHOD: Insults, humiliation and vulgar threats

    Self-proclaimed “anti-system candidate,” Bolsonaro has advanced himself using social networks, where his rhetoric and ideas resonate widely, bypassing traditional media. Since he took office, the work of the Brazilian press has become exceedingly difficult. His trademark style is to insult, denigrate, and humiliate journalists seen as too critical. For him, the press is “good for nothing,” and amounts to “permanent rumours and lies.” His combative and foul-mouthed rhetoric is amplified by members of his circle and a well-organised base. Since 2018, the president, his family and his entourage have refined a highly efficient system. On social networks, armies of supports and bots relay and amplify attacks designed to discredit the press, which is depicted as an enemy of the state.

    FAVOURITE TARGETS: Women journalists, political experts and Globo

    One of the Bolsonaro family’s favourite targets is the Globo TV network, described as “funeral TV,” because it has dared to inform Brazilians of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number of virus-linked deaths. In 2020, RSF recorded more than 180 attacks against the network, which was accused of wanting to “betray” and “destroy” the country. The network is threatened with non-renewal of its broadcast frequency in 2022. On the ground, its journalists, especially those who cover the presidency from in front of the Alvorada presidential palace are often singled out, humiliated and attacked, sometimes violently, by Bolsonaro family supporters. Sexist and misogynistic attacks against women journalists are also a mark of Bolsonaro’s movement. Numerous women journalists, such as Patricia Campos Mello, have been hit by sexist attacks and must work under appalling conditions, under attack by digital lynch mobs of the president’s supporters.


    Some media are “worse than garbage, because garbage is recyclable.” “Brazil is bankrupt, there is nothing I can do about it…I wanted to modify the tax-cut scale, but we have this virus that has been fuelled  by the press, this useless press.” (6 January 2021). 

    “The press is responsible for the panic in the country, and the loss of lives during the pandemic, a national disgrace.”

    "Journalists can go “f…  off to their w…. mothers” and “stick cans of condensed milk up their a….” (27 January 2021).

    “Despicable bastards, you are not patriots…The journalism you do is rotten, corrupt, unscrupulous! You are good for nothing! You only publish lies! (From a 24-minute video by Bolsonaro, broadcast on 29 October 2019, directed at the Globo media group).

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