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Free elections are the cornerstone of democracy, yet quite often candidates, political parties, and interest groups use disinformation strategies to sway the results one way or another. Misleading information and outright lies are common in election cycles across the globe. Voters in Europe, Asia, and Africa find it hard to get accurate information before they go to the election booth.
For 70 years, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has played a critical role in working to advance freedom of information and the press in Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East. Now, as authoritarian governments ramp up efforts to undermine democracy, human rights, and media freedom, RFE/RL is again on the front lines. Join us for a conversation with Jamie Fly, President and Chief Executive Officer of RFE/RL, and Daisy Sindelar, Vice President and Editor in Chief of RFE/RL, on the history, impact, and current challenges faced by RFE/RL in today’s evolving media environment.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, the U.S. Agency for Global Media is holding its 2nd annual Press Freedom Film Festival.
In the two decades under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, press freedom has eroded. During his tenure, Turkey is now the top jailer of journalists in the world and government censorship is on the rise. Voice of America’s new documentary, “Turkey: Breaking the Silence,” profiles citizens, journalists, and activists whose stories help explain the forces driving media repression. The film reveals how deep divisions in Turkish society and politics, combined with autocratic power, have evolved to repress critical news coverage and stifle free speech.
For six months, the world has watched Belarusians fight for democracy. The independent press has been essential in highlighting this ongoing struggle. What is the state of play for journalists in Minsk?
Around the world, many governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to control information flows and silence voices of dissent. Claiming the need to protect the public from panic and keep people informed with correct information, some countries adopted or amended laws penalizing the distribution of disinformation. In a recent report by the Law Library of the Library of Congress at the request of IREX, researchers detailed how governments in 20 countries have restricted media organizations’ rights and curtailed freedom of speech during the pandemic.