When the US State Department conducts its annual assessment of the state of human rights in each nation on the globe, it will now take into account the state of that nation’s journalistic freedom. The legislation is the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.
The bill instructs the State Department to downgrade a nation if it engages in tactics that restrict or intimidate the press, or otherwise allow the rights of a free press to be trampled upon.
The law is named after after Daniel Pearl, who was working in Pakistan for the Wall Street Journal when he was captured and killed by terrorists after the attacks of 9/11/01.
According to the New York Times, Obama said the law “puts us clearly on the side of journalistic freedom.”