Here’s a guide to understanding how the government in China regulates and controls the media. Jin Ding explains the relationship between Chinese news publications and the state’s ruling Chinese Communist Party, the methods of censorship, media funding, and notable publications to follow.
The Bell illustrates a growing trend in which Russian journalists and media managers are finding ways of building news organizations that are not financially dependent on rich businessmen vulnerable to Kremlin pressure.
The reason we know so much about Russian disinformation operations targeting the United States is that some Russian journalists are very good at their jobs. What the world learned about these trolls, it turns out, came not from social media firms, governments or Western media, but from enterprising Russian journalists. Here’s how they first uncovered the Russian troll factory.
From time immemorial, media, both good and bad, have published false official “truths” dictated by authoritarian governments and propaganda by private interests. Now, what is even more a threat to journalism is the increasing shady interests committed to news forgery. There are no easy solutions but journalism is fighting back with new fact-checking initiatives, new media alliances and the creation of new platforms to check sources.
Gone are the days of complaints about information operations and psychological operations (PSYOPS) undermining media development being pursued by USAID and its contractors. But those have been replaced by broader concerns that the U.S government overall may now be too focused on counter-messaging at the expense of independent media development. “We are concerned that there is an increasing shift away from supporting genuinely independent media towards what might be termed counter-propaganda and promoting counter narratives,” says James Deane, director of policy and learning at BBC Media Action.
As a rule, media development grants are not news. But a number of Russia’s leading newspapers, including Izvestia and Moscow Times, reported last week that the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania (@USEmbVilnius) has announced that $500,000 is being made available to regional media organizations to combat Russian propaganda. Izvestia pointed to the grant as proof that the U.S. Government is also involved in propaganda and have called the grant anti-Russian. Although not widely known, Western governments — including the United States — are the largest donors to media. They spend tens of millions of dollars per year to help promote independent media, often through grants to large media development organizations in developing and transitioning countries around the world.
Where I live, it’s common to hear people say that the U.S. government destroyed the World Trade Center. What looks to me and my reporter colleagues like a Russian invasion of Ukraine looks to them like a murky situation where no one is right or wrong. But when someone said to me over dinner that a Polish fighter plane had shot down MH17 over Ukraine, citing yet another obscure Internet “news” site, something snapped. I turned away, but the problem is still there.