The media have a vital role to play in telling the world Tibet’s story. But the Chinese government makes it nearly impossible for foreign journalists to enter Tibet and report on China’s human rights abuses against the Tibetan people. In fact, a Washington Post reporter said in 2016 that the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, which spans roughly half of Tibet, is harder to visit as a journalist than even North Korea.

In honor of this month’s 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, we speak to Sarah Cook, Senior Advisor for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Freedom House, about China’s restrictions on press freedom in Tibet. We also discuss how journalists at Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and other outlets still find information about what’s happening in Tibet, as well as what governments, civil society groups and ordinary citizens can do to push back on China’s policies.

In 2018, the US government passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which pressured the Chinese government to give American journalists, diplomats and tourists access to Tibet. Find out more about the law at

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