Liberal theory regards a free press as vital not only to political processes, but also to the development and maintenance of personal autonomy and the right to self-determination. Yet, press freedom receives very little attention in the wider debate on international human rights and in the academic literature on the subject. This article submits that press freedom matters in its own right and not merely as a means to secure other human rights like free speech and freedom of information. This article places press freedom at the center of how we think about democracy and human rights promotion. If the goal is to promote Western liberal ideals, press freedom should be the centerpiece of human rights advocacy and democracy promotion in international relations, not merely a side note to freedom of expression or freedom of information.