Destroying jungles to make underpants, an Indian app to automate hate and manipulate trends, and Hong Kong media outlets close after raids and arrests

The International Journalism Festival weekly round-up. Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter, by following our Telegram channel, or by joining us on Facebook and Twitter.

Europe: destroying jungles to make underpants. The journey from field to closet begins in the territory of the Indigenous Dayak people in Borneo’s province of North Kalimantan.

India: an app with BJP footprints for cyber troops to automate hate, manipulate trends. The Wire investigates claims behind the use of Tek Fog, a highly sophisticated app used by online operatives to hijack major social media and encrypted messaging platforms and amplify right-wing propaganda to a domestic audience.

Hong Kong: media outlets close after raids and arrests. Over the past week, two independent media outlets in Hong Kong were shut down after 200 policemen raided the office of Stand News and arrested seven senior editors.

14 journalists from four continents join RISJ as Journalist Fellows in January 2022. This global cohort will spend time in Oxford in a programme designed to explore the key challenges facing journalism worldwide.

If American democracy is going to survive, the media must make this crucial shift. Journalists stepped it up in 2021, but now we need a concerted effort.

Content from our partner McKinsey & Company

2021: McKinsey Global Publishing’s year in review.
What were 2021’s biggest stories? Revisit some of McKinsey’s sharpest insights on the pandemic, the evolving talent crisis, digital and the growth agenda, and sustainability. Explore highlights and gear up to drive sustainable, inclusive growth in 2022 with McKinsey Global Publishing’s year in review insights.

How governments go after protesters using social media. People across Latin America and the Caribbean are organizing online. That space must be protected.

Orban’s influencers shower cash, become largest social media spenders. Circumventing campaign ad rules, a Hungarian fund financing pro-government social media personalities created about a year ago is on track to spend more than HUF 1 billion (€2.7 million) by April’s general polls.

Burning sugar cane pollutes communities of color in Florida. Brazil shows there’s another way. Florida’s largest sugar companies say cane burns are safe and can’t be stopped without economic harm. But Brazil has successfully transitioned away from the controversial practice, and experts there say the U.S. can follow their lead.

Stop abusive lawsuits! There’s almost nothing to stop the wealthy and powerful from threatening legal action to silence their critics. It’s just another business expense. They don’t even need to win in court – the litigation process is enough in itself.  A critical voice distracted, demoralised, drained of cash? Job done.

This isn’t the California I married. The honeymoon’s over for its residents now that wildfires are almost constant. Has living in this natural wonderland lost its magic?

Image credit: Arek Socha via Pixabay