Media Development 2019/4
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By Philip Lee

Cinema has seen hundreds of war films. Many glorify heroism. Many depict horror. “What sets the best war movies apart, though, is their ability to never lose sight of the real human cost of war. The true masterpieces of the genre can deliver spectacle, yes, but they also tell us something more essential at the heart of every epic struggle in human history, something that unites us all no matter which side of the battle we may be on.”1

American citizens are not alone in realising that press freedom is under attack. Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Brazilians and Filipinos – to name just a few – are also deeply concerned. They can all learn from PEN America which has put forward An Agenda for the Biden-Harris Administration called “Free Expression and the First 100 Days” (19 January 2021). In a plea to defend and promote press freedom in the U.S., PEN calls for affirmative steps to undo the damage to Americans’ attitudes toward the press and to shore up press freedom and respect for the role of professional media in the U.S.