How COVID-19 gives cover to press crackdowns the world over

David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, and a former UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression said increasing media repression is a direct consequence of a global rise in authoritarian government. “Authoritarians and populists of the last several years have been elected into office,” he said. “There’s been pressure on independent media, that hasn’t changed, and that has been happening in parallel prior to and into COVID.” The pandemic “has added a new vector toward repression,” he said. “There is existing repression that’s continued, and COVID-oriented repression that’s new.”