Today is World Press Freedom Day (#PressFreedom), which prompted me to look at Berkshire’s coverage of mass media, a topic that gets covered in some detail in most of our publications.

I was struck by an article by Professor Laurien Alexandre in our 2007 Global Perspectives on the United States, and am glad to share it here. Click to download the 5-page PDF of “Media Debates and Divides – Global Perspectives 2007.” Alexandre points out that while the United States is the most powerful producer of media images, the impact of US media penetration is not so clear cut. She devotes particular attention to the influence of US media on public opinion in the Islamic world, something that continues to be a major issue in 2018. By the way, the recently released annual World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows a big decline in freedom of speech across the world, and has the US dropping from No. 43 to No. 45. This is not exactly what those who criticize media control in countries like China seem to be aware of, and ought to give us an incentive to build cross-border partnerships at a time when, as we just saw in the bombings in Afghanistan, that journalists are being targeted with violence as well as Donald Trump’s incessant tweets about “fake news.”

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