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Republican state lawmakers in Georgia propose a state ethics board for journalists, raising First Amendment issues of government control of the press. New lawsuit filed by former U.S. intelligence and military officials argues that rules requiring them to submit book manuscripts and other writing for pre-publication review long after leaving government service amounts to unconstitutional censorship. Two Congressmen plan introduction of Journalism Competition and Preservation Act that would counter antitrust laws barring news companies from working together to negotiate with tech platforms on revenue-splitting and other issues. Bloomberg looks at how YouTube executives have let false and toxic videos flourish so as not to limit engagement with its content. The New York Times publishes detailed examination of the Murdoch media empire’s global influence. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Georgia House Republicans File Bill to Create State Journalism Ethics Board
The board would create “canons of ethics,” issue advisory opinions, develop voluntary accreditation, set up a system for investigating complaints and sanctioning accredited violators of such canons. The bill would also mandate that anyone interviewed by the media would be able to request and receive copies of photographs and audio and video recordings taken by reporters and photographers.

Ex-Intelligence, Military Officials Sue Over Manuscript Screening Rules
A group of former U.S. intelligence and military officials filed suit against the Trump administration over rules that require them to submit book manuscripts and other writings for review long after leaving government service, claiming the rule is unconstitutional censorship.

House Duo Pushes to Let News Outlets Band Together Against Facebook and Google
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced a bill Wednesday morning to would grant publishers a waiver from antitrust laws in order to engage in collective bargaining with internet giants.

YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant
“The massive ‘library,’ generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube’s problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread.”

How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World
“A six-month investigation by The New York Times covering three continents and including more than 150 interviews has described how Rupert Murdoch and his feuding sons turned their media outlets into right-wing political influence machines that have destabilized democracy in North America, Europe, and Australia.”


Moscow Court Prolongs Director Serebrennikov’s House Arrest Until July 4 *PEN Case List: Learn More
A Moscow court has extended the term of house arrest for theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and two associates in an embezzlement trial that the defendants and their supporters contend is politically motivated.

What the EU’s New Copyright Law Means for Artists
Depending on who you ask, the controversial rule change will either censor vast swaths of artists or provide new avenues for remuneration and legal support. Read arguments against and in support of the new law.

Egypt’s Soap Opera Clampdown Extends el-Sisi’s Iron Grip to TV
The crop of Egyptian shows currently in production for Ramadan are being subjected to suffocating controls. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s officials are dictating scripts and capping wages, directors and actors say. A military-linked production company has taken charge of some of the biggest shows.

Singapore’s Proposed ‘Fake News’ Law Could Stifle Free Speech
“What’s particularly alarming about the proposal is that it can be activated by any government minister if they believe that ‘a false statement of fact … has been or is being communicated in Singapore’ or if they feel that issuing a correction is ‘in the public interest.’ The proposed act is focused on Singapore, but it will cover any piece of content worldwide.”

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