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The Backstory: A media freedom podcast from WAN-IFRA

Judit Klein (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published on wan-ifra.org .

Welcome to The Backstory, a new podcast series from WAN-IFRA exploring media freedom issues from across the globe.

Each month we will be taking a look at a challenging issue that journalists and media organisations are faced with, exploring how they tackle - and surmount - the obstacles to continue reporting the news.

You can listen to each episode direct from our website, but we do encourage you to subscribe to ensure you don't miss our monthly show. The following links will take you directly to iTunes or Stitcher.


S1E6: Soft censorship, hard impact - How governments manipulate media

It is increasingly rare to find instances of direct censorship of media in the world today. But indirect censorship, called soft censorship, is thriving. It manifests itself through government pressure on media groups through advertising decisions and restrictive legislation. Less violent than kidnapping and murdering journalists, it is as existential a threat to journalism.


S1E5: Fact or fake? Navigating the age of misinformation & fake news

Journalists and news organisations today are seeing a shift in the use of social media, from engagement to propaganda and the spreading of misinformation, or so-called fake news. Facebook and other tech platforms are increasingly under pressure to change how they present information and sort truth from lies. But journalists themselves are also coming up with solutions. This episode looks at their fight to control the narrative of a given story. It's a fight against propagandists, whether governments or online activists.


S1E4: It's personal - female journalists facing harassment, and what to do about it

Journalism can be a dangerous job, and for female journalists, there is the added layer of sexual violence. Even when they are not working on stories that put them in physical danger, they face harassment and threats online. This episode looks at the specific threats that female journalists face - in the field, online and in the workplace - and what they, and the profession, can do about it.


S1E3: Social media and journalism: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Social media is just that: social, connections, engagement. It has opened up new channels for journalists to connect with their audience, but with mixed results. With the rise of trolling, online harassment and the manipulation of social media, how do journalists and editors see its role today? How are journalists adapting? How can they move forward in these seemingly chaotic times?


S1E2: Show me the money: Censorship + financial independence

How do you run an independent media organisation in a country where the government imposes censorship rules? How do you support a successful media company without folding to pressure from your funders or your sponsors? The internet has exploded traditional media funding models. And yet, in some parts of the world, legacy media - even print! - remain a strong source of independent information. How are these companies surviving?


S1E1: Dying to be a journalist

In the first episode of The Backstory, we start with the basics: the threats facing journalists worldwide. Too often, journalists put safety aside to “get” the story; editors don't anticipate the problems that their reporters or their newsrooms can face. How can journalists be prepared? What should editors think about?