House Intelligence Committee releases some of the many ads Russia placed in order to shape attitudes and sow divisions during the U.S. election campaign. NPR puts its own CEO in the hot seat for a tough interview over the company’s handling of harassment allegations against its newly resigned top editor. Study demonstrates that media afforded substantially less coverage to Puerto Rico hurricane than to those in Texas and Florida, and that gap was greatest at Fox News. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


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


House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads
The House Intel Committee releases dozens of ads that Russia-linked firms created to shape attitudes and sow division during the U.S. 2016 campaign. Facebook, Google, and Twitter faced questions from the Senate and House Intel Committees.

NPR Reporter Grills Boss over Sexual Harassment Allegations
NPR CEO Jarl Mohn was interviewed by one of his network’s reporters—Mary Louise Kelly—on why NPR fired its head of news only after the Washington Post blew the whistle on Michael Oreskes’ behavior 20 years ago at the New York Times, when he accosted two women in separate incidents.

These Charts Show Fox News Really Did Ignore Puerto Rico’s Crisis
A study found that the media have covered the Puerto Rico Hurricane far less than the previous two hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida. Fox News has neglected Puerto Rico more than everyone else.

Anatomy of a Russian Facebook Ad
Lawmakers released some of the 3,000 ads that Russian operatives bought during the 2016 presidential campaign. Here’s an analysis of how Russian Facebook ads work and strategies to help social media users identify them.


Russia Hackers Had Targets Worldwide, beyond US Election
Russian hacking went far beyond the U.S. election, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors, and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin.

China’s Universities, Officials Rush to Join Personality Cult Around President
After “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” was enshrined in the party constitution, Xi’s ideas will now be taught, researched, and promoted in universities across the country. According to state media, at least 20 universities have set up research institutes for the study of Xi’s ideology.

Pakistan Journalists Cite Growing Threats From Government, Militants Alike
Journalists in Pakistan say they are facing increasing risks ranging from the government’s expanding control over social media to extremist threats that have spread from long-volatile regions to the streets of the capital.

China Bans Major Prayer Festival at Larung Gar
Authorities have shut down preparations for a major prayer gathering at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, reversing an earlier decision to allow the festival. Local Tibetans believe the ban is connected to a Chinese policy spurring a broader crackdown on the promotion of Tibetan religion and culture.

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