Confronting “Press Freedom Predators”
July 16, 2022 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography
Newsrooms are running a gauntlet of abuse around the world. But the threat is greater than against journalism alone — it’s against democracy itself
'In the United States, once considered a model for press freedom and free speech, press freedom violations are increasing at a troubling rate,” said Reporters Without Borders in this year’s World Press Freedom Index. That index ranked the U.S. 42nd out of 180 countries, an anemic standing for a nation whose origin story is rooted in press rights. The organization attributed the ranking to factors including online abuse of journalists and the unprovoked “harassment, intimidation and assault” reporters endure in the field.
Moreover, some government officials in the U.S. have played a shameful role in delegitimizing the media at home and abroad, spreading anti-press rhetoric that gives succor to despotic regimes around the world. The term “fake news” is a deadly American export, one used to devastating effect by Vladimir Putin since the start of the Ukrainian invasion. And as Emre Kizilkaya writes, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is using the same language to push through a so-called “disinformation bill” that would represent “an unprecedented attempt to suppress journalism in Turkey.” '
Related: The Human Condition Through The Lens: “One of the challenges journalists are facing is just the outright denial of reality,” he says, adding that some visitors get defensive when confronted with uncomfortable truths.
Threats to Photojournalism, a panel program with photographers Nina Berman and David Butow, 5:30 p.m. July 22