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SABEW First Amendment Committee to Watch Five Key Issues in 2024

For the financial media, last year was one of the most difficult in recent memory when it comes to freedom of the press. With 2024 underway, a pivotal election year, warning signs abound. As former SABEW President Mark Hamrick noted, “the environment generally for journalists, not only in the U.S., has become increasingly hostile – toward both press freedoms and also toward journalists personally.”

Here are five key issues the SABEW First Amendment Committee will be watching:

  1. Illegal detention of business and financial journalists: The case of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, imprisoned in Moscow for more than nine months, has garnered worldwide attention. As the Times of London editorial board wrote in a recent op-ed: “Evan Gershkovich is guilty of nothing more than doing the job of critical inquiry. That is what a free media depends upon.”
  2. Government Shutdowns: In the United States, government shutdowns, a tool for scoring political points, can trigger delays in reporting crucial reports on the state of the economy.
  3. Governments Suppressing Bad News: The decision by the Chinese government to stop publishing youth unemployment reports was widely condemned by the financial press. Will more governments choose to follow suit?
  4. Workforce Diversity: LGBTQ+ journalists are among the many different groups of journalists who are being singled out for attack. SABEW members and member organizations should not be targeted due to their sexuality, gender identity, race or religion.
  5. AI Challenges: New demands and pressures are being placed on business and financial journalists from artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as rapidly shifting revenue models. Legacy media face enormous challenges to their businesses but new platforms also face mounting risks.
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