Declining Democracy and the Threats to Media Freedom

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Jun 06, 2019 | Freedom House, Sarah Repucci

In democracies and authoritarian states alike, leaders intent on consolidating power are finding new ways to repress independent journalism. In her report for Freedom House, Sarah Repucci singles out the Chinese Communist Party for influencing news coverage around the world while suppressing critical viewpoints and managing content delivery. Antidemocratic leaders in fragile democracies are using economic, legal, and extra-legal tools to silence critical journalists and bolster friendly outlets. The onslaught of disinformation and fragile business models are grinding down traditional media, and facilitating cooption by ill-intentioned political actors. However, the author suggests that press freedom can rebound from repression when given the opportunity: “The basic desire for democratic liberties, including honest and fact-based journalism, cannot be extinguished.”


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