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Advance copies of report prepared for the Senate finds that Russia’s disinformation campaign used every social media platform to deliver content of all types intended to sway voters to elect Donald Trump, and the effort went on working to support him in office. The report highlights how the interference focused on African-American audiences and suppressing Democratic voter turnout. The Weekly Standard, among the only conservative outlets critiquing President Trump, shuts down. Media critics look at tabloid National Enquirer’s outsized role in the 2016 campaign and debate booking of guests who ‘lie and deflect’ on talk shows. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

New Report on Russian Disinformation, Prepared for the Senate, Shows the Operation’s Scale and Sweep
A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver content tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump.
WASHINGTON POST

Russian Effort to Influence 2016 Election Targeted African-Americans
The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans and used an array of tactics to try to suppress turnout among Democratic voters.
NEW YORK TIMES

The Weekly Standard, Conservative Outlet That Criticized Trump, to Shut Down
The Weekly Standard shuts down today, owner Clarity Media Group announced, ending one of the only conservative outlets that consistently stood in opposition to the style and politics of President Donald Trump.
POLITICO

More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer
The most powerful print publication in America might just be The National Enquirer. It functioned as a dirty-tricks shop for Donald Trump in 2016, which would have been the stuff of farce if it hadn’t accomplished its goal.
NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

For the First Time in Decades, There Are No Ethiopian Journalists in Prison
Ethiopia has long had a reputation as one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world, at one point reportedly holding 18 reporters at one time in detention. Yet as of December 1, the country was recorded as not having any imprisoned journalists.
QUARTZ

El Nacional Ends Print Publication as Maduro Tightens His Siege of the Venezuelan Press
After withstanding government harassment for years, El Nacional finally reached “the breaking point,” deputy editor Elías Pino Iturrieta announced. The newspaper will continue to post its reporting on its website, but the printed edition was abandoned because of government-imposed obstacles to obtaining newsprint and other supplies.
MIAMI HERALD

37 Tombstones Desecrated at Jewish Cemetery in France
French officials paid their respects at a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg, where 37 tombstones and a monument to Holocaust victims had been defaced with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti.
NEW YORK TIMES

Meng Lang, Poet Who Promoted Dissident Writers, Dies at 57
Meng Lang, a poet who promoted Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, along with other dissident Chinese writers, died on December 12 in Hong Kong. He was a co-founder of the Independent Chinese PEN Center.
NEW YORK TIMES

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