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.
Local media is crucial for democracy, but under stress in both the United States and Europe.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), presents the online discussion Radio Free Europe at 70: Its Importance Then and Now with former RFE/RL directors Jamie Fly and Tom Dine moderated by Tomáš Etzler on December 9, 2020, from 10-11 am.
Today, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) honored excellence in journalism at its five broadcast networks during the 19th David Burke Distinguished Journalism Awards ceremony, which was held online.
Ukraine’s local elections on October 25 are highly contested and impossible to predict. Following President Zelenskiy’s landslide victory last year, he and his party have fallen in the polls, with approval ratings hovering below 35 percent. With deadlocked peace talks, a continued war in the Donbas, stalled reforms, and increased coronavirus cases devastating the economy, a 2019-style victory for Servant of the People is increasingly unlikely. The new electoral code, which bars independents from running in districts with more than 10,000 citizens, further complicates the picture.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world, journalists have made covering the crisis a priority. However, along with increased health risks and declining advertisement revenues, media must also contend with a new set of challenges brought by the pandemic. With COVID-19 data and health information now at the forefront of public attention, information verification is of utmost importance and consequence. At the same time, journalists are combatting increased polarization while being flooded with misinformation. In some countries, the governments are cracking down on independent journalists reporting on the crisis.