TIJUANA, MEXICO – APRIL 29: Journalists try to photograph members of a caravan of Central Americans who spent weeks traveling across Mexico as they walk from Mexico onto the U.S. side of the border to ask authorities for asylum on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico. More than 300 immigrants, the remnants of a caravan of Central Americans that journeyed across Mexico to ask for asylum in the United States, have reached the border to apply for legal entry. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
  • HFPA

HFPA and L.A.Times Announce First Ever L.A. Press Freedom Week

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, announced today the inaugural LA Press Freedom Week, taking place September 16-20, 2019 at several venues in Los Angeles, California.

LA Press Freedom Week is a week-long slate of events that will spotlight conversations around the protection of the First Amendment and engage the public and the journalism community in and around Los Angeles. With three anchor events amid a series of satellite ones, leading experts, top journalists including NBC News’ Lester Holt, and supporting partners, LA Press Freedom Week will highlight the threats to a free press — and show what we can all do to defend it.

“As a journalist, it’s critical that press freedom is kept at the forefront of our conversation and that we, as a coalition forming LA Press Freedom Week, inspire and engage the public about the value of a free press and the critical purpose journalists serve in our democracy,” said Lorenzo Soria, President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  “For the last two years the HFPA used the organization’s on-stage time at the Golden Globe Awards to commit a total of $4 million to organizations like The Committee to Protect Journalists, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, that are focused on the protection of journalists, and the HFPA will continue to support journalistic organizations through our philanthropic efforts.  We are proud to work alongside such an esteemed publication as the Los Angeles Times to deepen awareness around the important issues journalists face each day.”

“As a global city and entertainment capital, Los Angeles has a unique opportunity to highlight and amplify the powerful stories that underscore the value of the First Amendment,” said Norman Pearlstine, Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Times and a CPJ board member. “At a time when the press is under attack, we’re pleased to tell the Los Angeles community about the importance of press freedom through this series of events.”

The list of marquee panels is included below:

Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 | Press Freedom and Elections, Paley Center for Media

This year saw elections unfolding around the globe in places like India, South Africa, Guatemala, and Tunisia, while in the United States, primary season began to heat up. This conversation will explore the particular challenges for journalists and threats to press freedom and democracy that emerge around elections both globally and in the United States. Meher Tatna, of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will offer opening remarks in a debate moderated by Ramzi Malouki, an HFPA member who heads the US West Coast Bureau for the French Canal + Group.

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 | Press Freedom and Diversity: Whose Voice Gets Included?, LA Central Library

Who makes the news, and for whom? “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt will moderate a lively discussion on the question of what diversity means in media—and how it can influence the information we read, hear, watch and share. Los Angeles Times Editor-in-Chief, Norman Pearlstine, presents opening remarks to this conversation.

Thursday, September 19, 2019 | Cross-Border Legal Threats to Press Freedom | UCLA School of Law | Room 1357
Stories on migration at the southern U.S. border have taken the world by storm – as have multinational investigative reports on the Panama Papers and similar stories. Weak legal protections for press freedom in one country can spill into others. In this panel, legal experts and journalists will explore the ways that laws in other countries, like the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom, which expressly punishes journalists for publishing government secrets, can chill reporting here. The panel will be moderated by Dale Cohen, director of the Documentary Film Legal Clinic at the UCLA School of Law, with opening remarks by the school’s dean, Jennifer Mnookin. Lorenzo Soria, president of the HFPA, will deliver the closing remarks.

For more in-depth coverage, please tune-in to HFPA in Conversation podcast for a six-part series on the topic of press freedom:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-hfpa-in-conversation/id1342322983?mt=2.

Additional information and details on the marquee panels and other spotlight events for the week can be found at https://goldenglobes.com/la-press-freedom-week.