Press Freedom | Wilson Center

Press Freedom

Assignment: North Korea

Images and insights from inside the DPRK

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have transformed his image from Hermit King to diplomatic statesman by stepping out onto the world stage in 2018 and 2019. But in 2020, with few Americans traveling to Pyongyang due to years of tightened sanctions and travel bans, the people of North Korea remain as hidden and muted as ever before.

Saving Their Profession: Russian Journalists and Their New Media


With government pressure growing, Russia’s journalists have been looking for ways to transcend the country’s stifling political climate. Small, independent, agile projects run by tight-knit teams of committed people seem to be the going answer. How are they managing it?

Vulnerable Landscapes: Case Studies of Violence and Disinformation

Disinformation is a global phenomenon that affects almost all countries because anyone with a political agenda can use disinformation in pursuit of political power (Bradshaw and
Howard, 2018).

How Free Is the Fourth Estate? A Discussion about India’s Media Environment

India’s large and dynamic media market boasts thousands of newspapers, several hundred news channels, and innumerable news websites. Yet it also ranks 40th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom Index -- and journalists, activists, and researchers express increasing concerns its independence. This event convened experts to explore the challenges within India’s robust media environment and the implications for democracy in that country, while also placing India’s press in a  a broader global context.

Formative Battles: Cold War Disinformation Campaigns and Mitigation Strategies

During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union refined covert methods of political intervention and conflict, making use of proxy wars, election interference, and disinformation campaigns to advance their respective interests. Work such as Dov H. Levin’s research tracking election interference (2016) illustrates that both superpowers used disinformation as a core tactic throughout the Cold War and the subsequent decade. Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR competed in an arms race of fictions, attempting to cultivate ideological support internationally and domestically.

Freedom of Expression in Russia's New Mediasphere

In recent years the Russian government has dramatically expanded its restrictions on the internet, while simultaneously consolidating its grip on traditional media. The internet, however, because of its transnational configuration, continues to evade comprehensive state control and offers ever new opportunities for disseminating and consuming dissenting opinions.

Russia’s Half-Full Glasnost


Golunov's Case Turns the Kremlin's PR On Its Head


Although the crowd that got to Petrovka Street in the afternoon was largely young, everyone seemed to understand the good old rules for a nonconformist in a police state: know your rights, know their rules, and do not provoke the use of force. If they tell you to stand 50 meters apart, stand 50 meters apart. If you are not supposed to pass your sign on to the next person, do not do that either. Do not contradict, do not present physical resistance.

Yekaterinburg Protest Shows Cracks in Kremlin’s Media Manipulation


Russia’s state-run media have heavily influenced Russians’ worldview. The techniques of agenda setting, framing, and the provision of disinformation are staples in the Kremlin’s toolkit. Yet recent protests in Yekaterinburg and their denouement appear to have tested the efficacy of such time-honored tactics and raise questions about the Kremlin’s ability to continue to control the narrative surrounding news events.