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FBI director says agency is significantly increasing its work with Silicon Valley to address foreign influence campaigns targeting the United States. New federal court ruling in Florida says station broadcasting Russia’s Sputnik International must comply with Foreign Agents Registration Act. Poynter looks at role Southern newspapers played in racial violence and how they are responding today. CBS censors segment of ‘Good Fight’ on Chinese censorship. The PEN World Voices Festival has begun; see the full schedule and buy tickets here. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


FBI Says It’s Working with Silicon Valley to Stop Election Meddling
The FBI’s relationship with Silicon Valley in tackling foreign influence campaigns targeting the United States has “changed dramatically,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told senators on Tuesday, citing what he said was an improvement in cooperation between the agency and Big Tech.

Justice Department Wins Lawsuit Demanding Radio Station Register as Russian Agent
The U.S. Justice Department has prevailed in a lawsuit against RM Broadcasting, the owner of a Washington, D.C.-based radio station that is broadcasting Sputnik International, demanding the station register as a foreign agent.

Southern Newspapers Played a Major Role in Racial Violence. Do They Owe Their Communities an Apology?
Following the Civil War up until the Civil Rights Movement—and beyond—white-owned newspapers across the South served as cheerleaders for white supremacy. Their racist coverage had sometimes fatal consequences. Now, some of these papers are accepting responsibility for this coverage and apologizing for it.

CBS Censors a ‘Good Fight’ Segment. Its Topic Was Chinese Censorship.
A theme of last week’s episode was American companies that want to do business in China and the pressures they face to appease Chinese government censors. An animated short was created on that same theme. But the short was pulled from the show at the request of CBS about two weeks before it was scheduled to stream.


A False Dawn for Journalists in Southeast Asia *PEN Case List: Learn More
“Far from heralding a new era of press freedom, the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo represents a false dawn. Within Myanmar and across Southeast Asia, journalists have faced alarming crackdowns from their governments over what can be reported on, and how. Reporters remain under near-constant threat of censorship, arrest, and detention.”

Media Watchdogs ‘Appalled’ by Brutal Attack on Ukrainian Journalist
International media freedom watchdogs said they were “appalled” by the recent brutal attack on Ukrainian journalist Vadym Komarov and urged the country’s authorities to ensure that it does not go unpunished. Komarov was hospitalized and underwent unspecified surgery following the May 4 attack in Cherkasy.

Cambodia-China Journalist Association Launched
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith officially launched the Cambodia-China Journalist Association aimed at boosting ties between the media of both countries. Kanharith, during his speech at the launch in Phnom Penh, said the ministry strongly supported the formation of the CCJA which would play an important role in promoting relations and cooperation between Cambodia and China.

“When I Get Tired of It All, I Escape into Poetry:” Book Clubs Bloom in Afghanistan
The Book Cottage, with members ranging in age from four to 13, is one of many reading circles in Kabul reviving a book culture that, once lost, is now vibrant and expanding once again. During the Taliban era, whole libraries were looted and demolished; today, many books remain subject to a rigorous censorship process.

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