SEGMENT 2: Courtney C. Radsch
on a Free Press in the Digital Age
Last year the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a report on the Obama administration. In brief, it stated that Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise. Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.
This month, CPJ issued a second report on a Free Press in the Digital Age. The reports are below and come just after a powerful “60 Minutes” piece on the prosecution of New York Times reporter James Risen for refusing to testify to divulge his sources for his warrantless wiretapping reports. Risen also spoke with Amy Goodman on the topic.
CPJ has also criticized the revelation that the FBI sent a fake Associated Press story containing malware to a teenager suspected of making bomb threats has brought “spear phishing” back into the public consciousness. The technique, which combines malicious software with social cues tailored to the target, has been used by state and non-state actors to attack journalists and rights advocates, including the Committee to Protect Journalists. Spear phishing can be devastatingly effective, but there are simple steps journalists can take to protect their work, themselves, and their sources.
Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is a journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate with more than 13 years of experience in the United States and the Middle East. She joined CPJ in 2014 after working for UNESCO’s Section for Freedom of Expression, where she coordinated the organization’s strategy in the Arab region and edited the flagship publication “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development.”
Radsch previously worked as senior program manager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she led advocacy missions to more than a dozen countries, U.N. bodies, and the Internet Governance Forum. She has also worked for Al-Arabiya in Dubai, the Daily Star in Lebanon, and The New York Times. She writes and speaks frequently about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights, with a particular emphasis on gender and the Middle East, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Radsch holds a PhD in international relations from American University and is turning her dissertation, “Digital Dissidence & Political Change: Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt,” into a book. She holds a master’s of science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in mass communication from the University of California, Berkeley.