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Tipping Point: Democratic Erosion and the Assault on Press Freedom

This report examines how support to bolster independent media is a small component of international efforts to promote democracy and good governance. Even as there is mounting evidence of the importance of independent journalism to democratic health, international efforts to protect it have not kept pace with the growing threats media are facing globally. Safeguarding a free and independent press is an under-resourced and poorly integrated part of global development assistance policies. While authoritarian leaders spend heavily and pay close attention to the media as a tool for their political and economic aims, democratic reformers and international donors have largely failed to make the news media a central focus of their efforts. Insufficient attention to independent media undermines broader efforts to help slow democratic backsliding and protect democracies under threat.