President Donald Trump signs an executive order during an East Room event at the White House March 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed the executive order to require colleges to support free speech. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Conservatives put pressure on the Trump administration to ensure their free speech and freedom of religion, even if their definition includes silencing or negating the rights of others. In July 2018, President Donald Trump created—through then Attorney General Jeff Sessions—a religious liberty task force at the Justice Department to address some of those concerns.

The move was lauded by the President's Evangelical Christian base but criticized by human rights organizations as a free pass to discriminate in secular arenas while citing religion.

Keep reading...
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. The two leaders met one-on-one and discussed a range of issues including the 2016 U.S Election collusion. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed several balls into law penalizing "fake news" and reporting that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Media outlets and private citizens who share content that Putin's government deems "fake news" or disruptive to the status quo could face penalties of up to 1.5 million Rubles, the equivalent of $22,900.

Keep reading...
U.S. President Donald Trump gets into an exchange with Jim Acosta of CNN after giving remarks a day after the midterm elections on November 7, 2018 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Melissa Chan is a national and foreign affairs reporter with Al Jazeera. She worked as a broadcast correspondent for Al Jazeera America.

Chan also reported from Cuba, Canada, South Korea, North Korea, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mongolia, Moscow, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza. With Al Jazeera English, Chan served as China correspondent for five years before her expulsion from the authoritarian country in 2012 amidst backlash over the channel's reports.

Keep reading...
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta tries to ask President Donald Trump a question during a press conference November 7, 2018. (CNN/YouTube)

President Donald Trump made it very clear he hates bad press. Even when facts back the reports about him, he refers to all negative press as "fake news."

Because a free and honest press should report the truth, even if the President in office lies, Trump refers to most of the press as "the enemy of the people." During a Wednesday press conference, the President took his attacks a step further.

Keep reading...
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on June 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The term fourth estate derives from the traditional European concept of the three estates of society: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The free press, often referred to as the voice of the people, is the fourth estate of society. Unlike the common people of the world, the press can regularly ask direct questions of those in power.

But for the first time in the United States since McCarthyism, those in power openly target the free press. On a regular basis, the President and members of the Trump Administration attack the constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment right of United States citizens.

Keep reading...

On February 29, 2016, 14-year-old James Austin Hancock shot two of his fellow students at Madison Jr/Sr. High School in Middleton, Ohio. Fortunately, both victims survived the attack, 14-year-old Cooper Caffrey among them.

Cooper remembers eating chicken nuggets in the cafeteria, then falling to the ground, while his fellow students ran away in the chaos of gunfire. The incident would become among the more obscure school shootings, not making the cut for the national news. But when 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14th of this year, he felt as many others did: enough was enough.

Keep reading...
President Donald Trump speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at a hotel in Washington, DC on February 8, 2018. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump loves Twitter. Our President uses the platform to announce everything from negotiations with North Korea and the ban on transgender soldiers to tirades against “fake news,” which are all freely readable, even if you’re not one of the nearly 46 million followers he has on the site.

Unless, of course, you’re blocked. This is a punishment Trump doles out to some of his worst enemies on the site: Stephen King, Chrissy Teigen, and countless other Americans who’ve expressed less-than-stellar reviews of his policies.

Keep reading...