The New Censorship

Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom

Joel Simon

Columbia University Press

The New Censorship

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Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231160643

248 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $27.95£24.00

Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231538336

248 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $26.99£23.00

Pub Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9780231538985

248 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $1.99£2.00

The New Censorship

Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom

Joel Simon

Columbia University Press

Journalists are being imprisoned and killed in record numbers. Online surveillance is annihilating privacy, and the Internet can be brought under government control at any time. Joel Simon, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, warns that we can no longer assume that our global information ecosystem is stable, protected, and robust. Journalists are increasingly vulnerable to attack by authoritarian governments, militants, criminals, and terrorists, who all seek to use technology, political pressure, and violence to set the global information agenda.

Reporting from Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Mexico, among other hotspots, Simon finds journalists under threat from all sides. The result is a growing crisis in information—a shortage of the news we need to make sense of our globalized world and fight human rights abuses, manage conflict, and promote accountability. Drawing on his experience defending journalists on the front lines, he calls on "global citizens," U.S. policy makers, international law advocates, and human rights groups to create a global freedom-of-expression agenda tied to trade, climate, and other major negotiations. He proposes ten key priorities, including combating the murder of journalists, ending censorship, and developing a global free-expression charter to challenge the criminal and corrupt forces that seek to manipulate the world's news.

From his vantage point as director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon has worked tirelessly to get kidnapped or imprisoned reporters freed. He's campaigned globally for justice in cases of murdered journalists. In The New Censorship, he warns us of new threats – like the insidious information management techniques of "democratators" Vladimir Putin and Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Simon's prescriptions for how to counter these new challenges are wise and insightful. He offers hope to all who care about maintaining the free flow of information in a world full of would-be censors.

Ann Cooper, Columbia Journalism School

Joel Simon is a warrior for press freedom and the place of journalists in every culture and country. Here he writes with characteristic passion and insight on the importance of fighting press censorship around the world, reminding us that we have new tools but old demons remain.

Tom Brokaw, NBC News

Fascinating and comprehensive, The New Censorship should become a bible for anyone seeking an honest, up-to-date grasp of the global state of press freedom. Well written and lucidly argued, this is a must-read.

Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

Simon's assessment of what it means to be a journalist and his call to action at book's end are moving and practical. A must-read.

Booklist (starred review)

Media freedom is under attack all over the world as Simon shows us in often hair-raising detail. Yet while the diagnosis is frightening the prognosis need not be fatal. Fortunately, Simon offers a practical road map for how media freedom can and must be defended—and even expanded.

Rebecca MacKinnon, author Consent of the Networked.

While climate change, persistent poverty, and sectarian violence typically top the list of the world's most urgent challenges, the progress of future generations also will depend upon the success we have in ensuring free speech across the globe. Simon understands like few others that without a free press, modern societies will be severely stymied in solving their problems. Through insightful analysis and gripping stories relaying the experiences of frontline journalists, he offers a compelling portrait of the fight for free expression occurring around the world.

Lee C. Bollinger, president, Columbia University

No one understands better than Simon the reasons that press freedom is now in decline nearly everywhere in the world. In The New Censorship, he brings us riveting and powerfully moving accounts from the front lines. For anyone who wants to understand the peril that independent media face around the world today, this is a distressing, essential piece of work.

Jacob Weisberg, chairman, The Slate Group

Journalists are increasingly, and at times tragically, becoming characters in their own stories. As the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Simon has the difficult task of advocating press freedom around the world and saving the many journalists whose lives are in peril. In his profound and entertaining book, Simon draws on years of experience dealing with censorship, its victims, and its perpetrators.

Maziar Bahari, journalist, filmmaker, and author of And Then They Came for Me

Simon makes a persuasive case that the global trend is toward less, not greater, freedom of the press.

New Yorker

A case for why the goal of upholding 'press freedom' needs to expand, in the digital age, to defending 'freedom of information.'

David Greenberg, The American Prospect
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Murder in Pakistan
1. Informing the Global Citizen
2. The Democratators
3. The Terror Dynamic
4. Hostage to the News
5. Web Wars
6. Under Surveillance
7. Murder Central
8. Journalists by Definition
9. News of the Future (and the Future of News)
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

Read an excerpt from the chapter, "News of the Future (and the Future of News)":


Finalist - Tankard Book Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

About the Author

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and has written widely on media issues. He is a regular contributor to Slate and the Columbia Journalism Review, and his articles and commentary have appeared in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, World Policy Journal, and other publications. He is also the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge and lives in Brooklyn with his family.