How Pegasus was used against journalists in El Salvador, the Tek Fog app used to manipulate social media trends and target critics of the Modi government, and why journalists struggle to cover climate change

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‘Jaw-dropping’ targeting: how Pegasus was used against critical journalists in El Salvador. A new report by Citizen Lab and Access Now, shared with Forbidden Stories, shows how investigative journalists at El Faro and GatoEncerrado, two independent media outlets in El Salvador, were repeatedly and aggressively targeted with Pegasus spyware.

Tek Fog: morphing URLs to make real news fake, ‘hijacking’ Whatsapp to drive BJP propaganda. In the second part of its Tek Fog investigation, The Wire looks at the tech behind the secretive app that lets BJP-linked cyber troops hack Whatsapp accounts and conduct targeted campaigns using third-party automation tools.

Just a little too slow: Why journalists struggle to cover climate change. The biggest news story of all time doesn’t quite fit our working definition of news, and hence is going remarkably undercovered.

Trust me, I’m a journalist. Being a journalist right now is not easy. You face daily menace and harassment from every corner: repressive governments and would-be autocrats, abusive Tweets and Facebook posts, as well as physical threats and an unprecedented risk of being killed for your work. Add to that the chronic stress of working in an industry bedeviled by existential financial crisis.  The reward for coping with all this? Hardly anybody trusts you.

‘We fought the good fight’: journalists in Hong Kong reel from assault on media. Newsroom closures and exodus from territory are result of ‘draconian’ national security law introduced in 2020.

‘The more conversations we have, the more openly we talk’: tackling newsroom mental health stigma and shame. Nearly two years into the global pandemic and many journalists are feeling exhausted. We are entering 2022 with a sense of uncertainty, after an unprecedented period which has impacted the mental health of many in the news media. 

Content from our partner McKinsey & Company

A new lens on 2021.
How do you capture, in a single photograph, the effects of the ongoing pandemic or the nuances of the Great Resignation and the talent crisis? What art best expresses the power of digital or the interplay of sustainability, inclusion, and growth? Take a look back at McKinsey Global Publishing’s year in images.

Ten years after they first caused the Russian authorities to clutch their pearls, Pussy Riot has been almost entirely forced out of the country. In November 2021, the feminist protest group Pussy Riot turned 10 years old. For the entirety of the group’s existence, the Russian authorities (among others) have been trying their damnedest to shut them up.

China steps up efforts to ban deepfakes. Will it work? Beijing’s new algorithm rules shift responsibility — and risk — onto companies, not creators.

Maria Ressa to the Philippines Senate: Make law holding social media giants liable for lies spread. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and press freedom icon Maria Ressa asked Filipino senators to craft a law that would hold technology and social media giants accountable for lies they are allowing to be spread online.

An open letter to YouTube’s CEO from the world’s fact-checkers. YouTube is allowing its platform to be weaponized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organize and fundraise themselves.

Philippine radio commentator Jaynard Angeles shot and killed. Angeles, who was also running for town councilor in Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat, was shot dead by two gunmen at a car wash establishment in Tacurong City, according to reports by multiple media outlets. According to the initial report, Angeles was shot in the head and the murderers fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2022. 2022 will be a year of careful consolidation for a news industry that has been both disrupted and galvanised by the drawn-out COVID-19 crisis. Both journalists and audiences have, to some degree, been ‘burnt out’ by the relentless intensity of the news agenda, alongside increasingly polarised debates about politics, identity, and culture. This could be the year when journalism takes a breath, focuses on the basics, and comes back stronger.

Becoming the most subscribed business news media per capita: an interview with Äripäev’s editor-in-chief. The Estonian business daily made reader revenues its North Star in 2021, now it aims to push the limits of its market.

Image credit: Chris Yang on Unsplash