Its taken me a while to figure out how to introduce today’s topic. Not because its totally radical – but rather, because my brain is freaking out that its something I have to introduce in the year 2017. So, I’ve decided the best approach is just to dive right in:
Today’s topic is, essentially, freedom of the press.
Now, while I don’t spend my day to day life in the United States, I’m definitely an American. And something that is just a part of who I am is an understanding that we need freedom of speech and freedom of the press to ensure human flourishing. I think there’s a fairly decent consensus on this around the world.
As I’ve watched events unfold over the past year related to US politics, and how it has impacted individuals’ ability to distinguish between fact and fiction and, more importantly, destroyed people’s ability to have even the simplest conversations, I’m left wondering if Mike Judge didn’t have an amazing crystal ball when he made Idiocracy.
Now, I personally remain optimistic we’ll all come out of this moment in time better for it. But the fact that it feels like we’ve stumbled backwards into the 1940s in so many ways is heartbreaking.
My guest for today’s 165th Terms of Reference Podcast is Harlan Mandel. He’s the CEO of the Media Development Investment Fund, or MDIF. Their work focuses on supporting independent media around the world and they do this through a variety of investment vehicles.
The work of MDIF has been transformative across the globe. I think today’s conversation is important because we talk about how an organization like MDIF supports freedom of the press, how they have evolved over the past 20 years – especially with the advent of digital everything, how events in the US are reverberating across the world, and much more.
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