Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

For many, the steady drumbeat of news about the scandal-plagued Trump White House is downright depressing. Indeed, a Google search of the phrase “Trump depressing” turns up nearly 800,000 results, from Jane Goodall lamenting the president’s climate change policies to Alec Baldwin threatening to ditch his hilarious Trump impersonation next season on “Saturday Night Live” because it’s too, well, you know. (“If everything stays the same in the country as it is now, I don’t think people will be in the mood to laugh about it come September,” Baldwin says.) The Atlantic calls this “the great liberal depression,” and it’s prompted one satirist to createRead More →

Protesters gather in the streets of Tokat, Turkey following the failed coup

The ramifications of the recent failed coup in Turkey are still playing out, but it seems likely that the country’s already beleaguered news media will face even more repression and censorship in the days to come. The coup, launched on the evening of July 15 by factions of the Turkish military, resulted in at least 290 people being killed – including a photographer for a pro-government newspaper who was gunned down by soldiers – and more than 1,000 injured. Images of the uprising – including shots of CNN’s sister network in Turkey being taken over – were broadcast live worldwide. Since the government regained controlRead More →

man reads paper in China

When Xi Jinping was named president of China in 2013, experts were hopeful that he might begin to liberalize the Communist Party regime, opening the door to a new era of press freedom and expanded civil liberties. But they were wrong. Not only has Xi not loosened the reins of government control, in many ways he has turned back the clock, ushering in a troubling time in which press freedom in the world’s most populous country is under attack. Here are just a few recent examples of how the authoritarian Chinese regime controls the news media: When a series of explosions at an industrial complexRead More →

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With great power comes great responsibility, the saying goes. And in the United States, the press has an enormous amount of power and yes, responsibility. That’s because the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mandates that the press not be controlled by the government, in contrast to many countries around the world, where press freedom is either severely curtailed or nonexistent. That unparalleled level of freedom has made the American news media very powerful. But that doesn’t mean reporters can simply publish anything they want, and in the U.S., libel law is where the power of the press and its responsibilities intersect. So every reporterRead More →