The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom
Journalists are being imprisoned and killed in record numbers. Online surveillance is annihilating privacy, and the Internet can be brought under government control at any time. Joel Simon, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, warns that we can no longer assume our global information ecosystem is stable, protected, and robust. Journalists—and the crucial news they report—are increasingly vulnerable to attack by authoritarian governments, militants, criminals, and terrorists, who all seek to use technology, political pressure, and violence to set the global information agenda. Reporting from Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Mexico, among other hotspots, Simon finds journalists under threat from all sides. The result is a growing crisis in information—a shortage of the news we need to make sense of our globalized world and to fight against human rights abuses, manage conflict, and promote accountability. Drawing on his experience defending journalists on the front lines, he calls on “global citizens,” U.S. policy makers, international law advocates, and human rights groups to create a global freedom-of-expression agenda tied to trade, climate, and other major negotiations. He proposes ten key priorities, including combating the murder of journalists, ending censorship, and developing a global free-expression charter challenging criminal and corrupt forces that seek to manipulate the world’s news.
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