President Trump gives a series of interviews that baffle pundits and historians; walking out after being questioned about Obama wiretapping claim; calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “smart cookie,” and giving a sometimes muddled account of Andrew Jackson’s presidency and legacy.‎ Another top Fox executive, Bill Shine, departs Fox News as the network scrambles to address charges of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Facebook promotes a former NYT VP to lead its fight against “fake news.” -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


Trump’s dizzying day of interviews
The interviews — published by Bloomberg, Face the Nation and the SiriusXM radio network — seemed timed to the president’s 100-day mark but contained a dizzying amount of news, even for a president who often makes news in stream-of-consciousness comments.

Fox News co-head Bill Shine leaves as network faces mounting discrimination suits
Fox News says network co-president Bill Shine has resigned and Suzanne Scott, the network’s top female executive, is among two execs promoted — part of a management overhaul following allegations of sexual and racial harassment involving some of the conservative news network’s most well-known personalities and senior staff.

Facebook taps former New York Times VP to fix its fake news problem
Facebook is making big moves to fix its fake news problem, among amending other frustrations from publishers. Alex Hardiman will serve as Facebook’s first-ever head of news product. It’s an internal promotion. Hardiman joined Facebook last summer after serving as the vice president of product for the New York Times and led the tech company’s mobile products, including leading the Pages team.

Spending bill includes $2 million increase for NEA after Trump proposed eliminating funds
Congressional leaders rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate money for federal arts programs, providing a small increase as part of a bipartisan spending deal. The spending bill that Congress is expected to vote on this week includes $150 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and an identical sum for the Humanities endowment.

Independent Journalist Now Faces 70 Years in Prison After Inauguration Mass Arrest
In the months since Trump’s inauguration, cases against seven other journalists, including those not affiliated with media companies, have been dropped. But at least two independent journalists still face charges.


Hardliners urge Kremlin crackdown on social media
Opposition leader Alexander Navalny’s success in using social media to mobilize youthful anti-corruption protesters has sparked calls for the Kremlin to step up internet censorship.

China is recruiting 20,000 people to write its own Wikipedia
The Chinese government is recruiting 20,000 people to create an online encyclopedia that will be the country’s own, China-centric version of Wikipedia, or as one official put it, like “a Great Wall of culture.”

Journalist freed in South Sudan after 3 nights in jail
South Sudan detained an NPR journalist for nearly four days before releasing him on Monday, a spokesperson for the organization said. Eyder Peralta has returned to Kenya but his South Sudanese assistant is still being held by authorities.

What it’s like to report in one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists
Journalists bold enough to report on the misdeeds of drug cartels or the government often face threats and retaliation — and increasingly pay for their work with their lives. Mexico has become the third-deadliest country in the world for journalists, leading many publications across the nation to avoid controversial topics or to shut down entirely.

For India, a Year of Shrinking Freedom of Speech
As we get further into 2017, freedom of expression, press freedom, online freedom and personal freedoms continue to be a center of debate in India. Unfortunately, as the news website and media watchdog The Hoot notes in its 2017 annual report, over the last 16 months there has been a sense of shrinking liberty in the subcontinent.

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