President Hugo Chávez has put the assault on Venezuela's already-beleaguered media into overdrive. The recent arrest of a major television-channel owner, efforts to revoke dozens of radio-station licenses and possible controls on the Internet come amid a longer-term campaign to stifle dissent in this increasingly authoritarian country.
Even more disturbing, however, is that Venezuela represents just one part of a broader pattern of systematic media repression exerted by a group of influential, regionally diverse authoritarian regimes. These governments -- including in Russia, Iran and China -- have played a central role in the global setback for freedom of expression. Read more.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.