The Growing Threat to Global Press Freedoms

Dr. Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Director, Free Expression Programs, Pen.org

According to the leading human rights organization Freedom House, “Press freedom is facing new threats in major democracies as well as in repressive states, where authorities are focusing their efforts on social media and other online platforms after subduing the independence of major print and broadcast outlets.” This panel will feature the perspective of global media expert.

Dr. Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of PEN America’s Free Expression At Risk Programs. She focuses on global free expression, artistic freedom, press freedom, and digital rights issues, and leads PEN’s assistance to individuals at risk as a result of their expression. Prior to joining PEN, she served from 2001–15 as director of Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press project, coordinating the production of a flagship annual report that tracks trends in global media freedom and rates every country in the world. As well as acting as an expert spokesperson on press freedom issues at conferences, meetings, and in media appearances, Dr. Karlekar has developed index methodologies and conducted training sessions on press freedom, internet freedom, freedom of expression, and monitoring dangerous speech; authored a number of special reports and academic papers; and conducted research, assessment, and advocacy missions to Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.