In the hands of an authoritarian government, press freedom is fragile, and state media can turn from a public good into a weapon of information warfare. Russia, China and others are using their state-run media abroad in hopes of expanding their influence beyond their borders. Russia's state-funded outlet RT made that clear during the 2016 U.S. election. And China is starting to gear its own state-run channel, CCTV, as an advocate for China's government abroad.
Class discussion: Have you ever watched or read a “news report” that was created by a government? How do you know? How about “news reports” created by companies or industry groups to sell their goods or push their agendas? Do you ever check to see where your “news” is coming from? Have the Russians succeeded in sowing doubts about our elections? Have they hampered our government through information warfare? Has the United States ever used “news” as a weapon against its foes?
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level