Video: Firewalls & Journalism — What to know about Internet shutdown trends

An open and free Internet is widely seen as essential to journalists to both conduct their reporting and to disseminate their work. But a worsening trend of authoritarian and illiberal governments moving to erect digital firewalls and cut off Internet access, particularly during times of natural disaster or political crisis, is imperiling the ability of large swaths of the global population to stay informed and for journalists to track critical news developments.

More countries than ever in 2022 saw Internet shutdowns, with at least 187 incidents documented across 35 countries, according to the digital rights group Access Now. 

The National Press Club’s Press Freedom Committee and the Institute offered a deep dive discussion during Sunshine Week on the worrying spread of Internet kill switches and what it specifically means for a free press.

Panelists included:

  • Ksenia Ermoshina, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and Center for Internet and Society
  • Natalia Krapiva, tech-legal counsel for digital rights watchdog group Access Now
  • Nat Kretchun, senior vice president for programs at the Open Technology Fund, part of the U.S. taxpayer-funded U.S. Agency for Global Media
  • Moderator: Rachel Oswald, National Press Club press freedom team lead and a foreign policy reporter for CQ Roll Call

Additional resources:

About the Institute

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute powers journalism in the public interest.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute serves thousands of people daily with our newsletter, online programming, writing group, and other support. The Institute depends on grants, foundation funds, and contributions from individuals like you. Your donation today allows the Institute to offer the majority of its programming at no cost. If you value the Institute’s services, please donate today. Any amount helps.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments