General Article Soft censorship, hard impact

Topic Selected: Censorship
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A global review.



Executive summary

Soft censorship is growing alarmingly as a global phenomenon. Official ‘soft censorship’ (or ‘indirect government censorship’) describes an array of official actions intended to influence media output short of legal or extra-legal bans, direct censorship of specific content, or physical attacks on media outlets or media practitioners.

The tactics of official soft censorship are increasingly pervasive and alarmingly effective means of media manipulation and control around the world. Especially devastating in times of economic instability, governments are aware that soft censorship does not generate the international outcry evoked by killing journalists or shuttering publications. Although it is less visible, soft censorship can be equally insidious, and must be recognised for the very serious threat to media independence and press freedom it is today.

New research shows that what has long been known in Latin America as censura sutil or censura i...

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