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The New York Times’ The Last Edition series looks at the state of local news in the United States, from the closing of newspapers to the paradoxes and future of their funding models. North Carolina-based gun store posts advertising billboard depicting the four Democratic Congresswomen of color who were recently the subjects of a racist attack by the president. Private companies almost entirely responsible for Georgia’s election systems found to have compromised election security and outcomes in the 2018 midterms. Development of surveillance technologies in American homes accelerates with Amazon’s acquisitions of ‘smart’ tech. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today

U.S.

A Paradox at the Heart of the Newspaper Crisis
The job of top editor has lost some of its old luster in this era of job cuts and hedge fund ownership. A vocation that once had a dash of grit and glamour has become more administrative, with a lot of bean-counting and heartbreak.
NEW YORK TIMES

‘How the Hell Is This Not Inciting Violence?’ Gun Store Erects Billboard with Minority Lawmakers’ Faces
An image shared to Cherokee Guns’ Facebook page went viral this week and drew a sharp rebuke from the women pictured—Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley—as well as anti-gun-violence advocates. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence on Monday called the billboard “violent rhetoric.”
WASHINGTON POST

‘The Selling of an Election’: How Private Firms Compromised Midterms Security
The most maligned components of Georgia’s election systems–voting machines and online voter registration–were almost entirely managed by private companies, prompting concerns from election security experts.
GUARDIAN

How Amazon Will Take over Your House
Amazon’s newest offering, a deal announced last week with Realogy, connects homebuyers to real estate agents and gives them $5,000 in smart devices and services when they close the deal. The huge upside for Amazon is unchecked access to the data-rich interiors of our homes.
AXIOS *Read more by PEN America’s Washington, D.C., director Tom Melia here

 
Global

A Year after a Journalist’s Assassination, Saudi Arabia Announces Media Forum to ‘Boost’ Reputation *PEN Case List: Find Out More
Saudi Arabia, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, will host a media forum and award ceremony in what the kingdom said was an attempt to improve its reputation.
WASHINGTON POST

Lebanon Defies Its Reputation for Tolerance and Cancels a Concert
When the Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila wanted to go on tour in the Middle East, few were surprised to see the group banned from performing in Egypt or Jordan. They, however, expected little trouble at home in Lebanon, which is often feted as relatively accepting of free expression compared with many of its neighbors.
LOS ANGELES TIMES

News TV Blackouts in Pakistan Draw Fresh Accusations of Censorship
Pakistani opposition parties have accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of intimidating broadcasters into a blackout on television coverage of his critics, after several TV channels were briefly taken off-air and opposition protests and news conferences passed unreported. Khan denies censoring the media.
REUTERS

Women Rewriting the Rules of Reporting in the Arab World
“Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting From the Arab World” has many aspects to it—it’s about ambition, harassment and misogyny, sex, family, bravery, politics, religion, history, broken lives, and double lives—but at bottom it imparts a pervasive sense of fear and loss.
NEW YORK TIMES

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