Thursday

26th Nov 2020

Podcast

The high price of muzzling media

  • The head of the Reporters Without Frontiers Brussels office has warned that the ongoing assault on free expression is a profound threat to public health that's already cost lives (Photo: Helena Malikova)

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Among those targeted by official smear campaigns is Blaž Zgaga, a best-selling author from Slovenia.

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To keep tabs on the abuses linked to Covid-19, press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontières [Reporters Without Borders] has created a service called Tracker 19.

Head of the organisation's Brussels office Julie Majerczak warns that the ongoing assault on free expression is a profound threat to public health that's already cost lives.

Director of the Bulgarian service for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ivan Bedrov observes that showy donations by China make it even more of a struggle to report on the significant role the European Union can play in fighting the virus.

The episode also features a poem by Ben Ray, whose volumes include What I Heard on the Last Cassette Player in the World.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

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The high price of muzzling media

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Crisis communications

When journalists were barred from the EU commission press room in March because of coronavirus, the relatively-new chief spokesperson, Eric Mamer, amiable Frenchman, had to improvise.

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