XI Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China since 14th March 2013 

 General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party since 15th November 2012

Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 14th March 2013 

Predator since 2013

 China 177th/180 in RSF’s 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


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    PREDATORY METHOD: Void of restraint

    When Xi Jinping, whose family was a victim of the Cultural Revolution, took the mantle of leadership in 2013, one could expect he would be a harbinger of liberal reforms in China. On the contrary, he further tightened the regime’s grip on news and information, restoring, in just a few years, a media culture comparable with the Maoist era. By relying on the extensive use of new technology, Xi has imposed a social model based on censorship, propaganda and surveillance. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), an entity personally supervised by Xi, prevents China's one billion internet users from freely receiving and imparting independent information. State media must not just follow the Party’s leadership, but must also “reflect the Party’s will, safeguard its authority and its unity”. The smartphone application Study Xi, Power Country, mandatory since 2019 for journalists to download, does not only allow the regime to test their loyalty, but may also be used to apply surveillance over their phones. Under Xi, the harassment of foreign correspondents and their sources has also reached new heights. While abroad, the regime goes to great lengths to promote and export its oppressive model.

    FAVOURITE TARGETS: Those who stray from the narrative

    Xi’s China is the world’s biggest captor of press freedom defenders with more than 115 detained in 2021, often in conditions that pose a threat to their lives. Journalists whose reports don’t fit the regime’s narrative are often being held in “residential surveillance at a designated location” (RSDL), a euphemism for incommunicado detention at one of China’s “black jails” where detainees are deprived of their rights and face the risk of being tortured. Kunchok Jinpa, a leading media source of information about Tibet, died in February 2021 as a result of mistreatment in prison, much like Liu Xiaobo, Nobel peace laureate and RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate, and Yang Tongyan, political commentator, who both died in 2017.

    OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Paternalistic indoctrination

    “The media run by the party and the government are propaganda fronts and must have the Party as their family name” (Speech pronounced by Xi Jinping on 19th of February 2016, during an inspection tour of the state media). 

    “They must love the party, protect the party, and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action,” (Referring to journalists working for CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily newspaper, February 2016 ).

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