Center for Media at Risk Roundtable: Ukraine and Content Moderation for News Media Sustainability

Speaker(s): John Montgomery, Rob Rakowitz and Courtney Radsch

This event will be held via Zoom beginning at 12:30pm EST. 

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From combatting violent extremism to mitigating misinformation, the news industry is caught in the middle of debates over how best to address a range of online harms. Amid Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the question about how to protect and promote reliable news and information while minimizing propaganda and disinformation has become a life and death matter with geopolitical implications. 

As regulators around the world consider new frameworks for content moderation, it is important to understand how efforts to reduce harmful content online can be detrimental to free and critical media. Stringent moderation can result in the removal or demonetization of journalism, which harms not only the sustainability of news media but also detracts from efforts to reduce disinformation and “fake news.”

This roundtable will look critically at these problems in the real-time case study of the war in Ukraine and discuss how initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, Ads for News and other collaborations between the private sector, media and tech platforms are impacting news media and what we can learn from these types of voluntary, self-regulatory approaches. 

This event is co-sponsored with UCLA’s Institute for Technology, Law & Policy.

John Montgomery is a specialist in Brand Safety and Trust in the Digital Media Industry and heads the Global Brand safety practice in GroupM, which he established in 2017 after concerns raised by clients over quality in the digital supply chain.

Rob Rakowitz joined the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) as the Initiative Lead for the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) in July 2019. In this role Rob acts, leads and facilitates a community of 100+ media leaders spanning advertisers, media agencies and media owners’ platforms to address the issue of online safety in the mutual interests of consumers, brands and the media industry.

Courtney Radsch is a journalist, scholar and free expression advocate who writes and speaks about the nexus of technology, media and policy and provides expertise and strategic consulting to mission-driven organizations. She is a visiting scholar at Annenberg’s Center for Media at Risk and a fellow at UCLA’s Institute for Technology, Law and Policy. Dr. Radsch’s research and work are informed by a commitment to human rights and ensuring the sustainability of independent media. 

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