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There is nothing new about hate speech. What has changed is the mode of delivery. In Nazi Germany, it was state-controlled newspapers and radio. At the time of the genocide in Rwanda, it was a radio station run by the Hutu government. Today, it is social media, until recently largely unregulated.

No apologies for quoting at length from “The Media Isn’t Ready to Cover Climate Apartheid” by Michelle García (The Nation, 17 June 2020). While praising the public service ethic of many media outlets, whose coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been exemplary, she notes an apparent reticence or inability to delve in depth into its impact on the most marginalized. She also questions media preparedness for the greater crisis to follow:

The Philippines is facing another crackdown on media freedoms. [caption id="attachment_26326" align="alignleft" width="237"] Maria Ressa. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock[/caption] On June 15, 2020, a court in the capital Manila, convicted former CNN journalist Maria Ressa and former Rappler writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. of cyber libel for publishing an article that implicated a prominent businessman who was allegedly involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.

Ownership of mobile phones, especially smartphones, is spreading rapidly across the globe. Yet, there are still many people in emerging economies who do not own a mobile phone, or who share one with others. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019 mobile divides were most pronounced in Venezuela, India, and the Philippines, countries where three-in-ten adults do not own a mobile phone.