Blagovest Media International calls SIGNIS Members to Pray and Work together for Peace
In this issue of SIGNIS Media, we look at the crucial role freedom of expression plays for democracy, especially as embodied in a free press. Readers will note how SIGNIS members from around the world offer their views on the state of open communications in their area. It is interesting to note that some members declined to report due to restrictions on freedom of speech in their country.
Autocratic governments recognize the importance of the link between freedom of speech and democracy — one of the first things they do upon taking power is muzzle or shut down news media. The forward march in these times of populist, authoritarian, fascist movements poses a real threat to democracies everywhere, including the United States, once the self-proclaimed “beacon” of democracy. No small amount of the growing power of undemocratic forces comes from well-financed, widespread disinformation campaigns that for many have replaced the regular news media as sources of information and analysis. As we go to press, Russia has invaded Ukraine. If, “In war, truth is the first casualty,” then independent journalists may be all that stands between us and lies about the horrible human suffering that is unfolding.