With 14 months to go until the next US presidential election, former foreign correspondent Andrea Catherwood finds out how the American media is preparing for the forthcoming onslaught.
In this programme, looking at current media issues in countries around the world, Andrea hears from key media insiders about how Donald Trump will control his message, what power remains with local media players and how Facebook will play its part in determining the next leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Andrea is joined by Emily Bell, a professor at Columbia Journalism School, to discuss what lessons have been learned by the American media from the last presidential election and considers what media channels and communication methods will be exploited by politicians in next year's race for the White House.
(Photo: Donald Trump argues with CNN journalist Jim Acosta in November 2018. Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Media Front: Ukraine
Former International Correspondent for CNBC and ITN Andrea Catherwood hears from journalists on both sides of the information war in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine began in April 2014 after the country elected a pro-Western leadership and Moscow supported uprisings in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern provinces which culminated in Donetsk and Luhansk declaring themselves as breakaway independent ‘republics’. From the beginning Russia’s powerful propaganda machine played a crucial role in the conflict. Casting the government in Kiev as a fascist ‘junta’ it helped fan the flames of unrest that quickly grew into a full scale war, supported with men and weapons shipped in from Russia. Five years on, 13,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which despite international peace efforts still grinds on, and the propaganda war is as bitter as ever.
In the third programme of this series examining some of the big issues facing journalists around the world, Andrea Catherwood considers how media organisations maintain ethical standards in a such a polarised information environment. We head to the Ministry of Information Policy—the government department tasked with the job of protecting Ukraine’s information space—to meet First Deputy Minister Emine Dzhaparova. Behind the frontline, in Russian speaking Luhansk and Donetsk, where Ukrainian television is blocked, a local journalist shares their perspective and experience.
In July this year Reporters Without Borders warned that the editorial independence of Ukraine’s news media was under threat after 400 journalists resigned over concerns that their new boss was using censorship and media manipulation to try to bring Ukraine back into the area of Russian political influence. We hear the first hand account of one of those who resigned.
(Photo: Activists of Ukrainian far-rignt party National Corps demand closure of pro-Russian TV channels outside the State Commitee for Television and Radio Broadcasting for Ukraine in Kiev, 2019. Credit: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Media Front: Philippines
It has been three years since Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte won a landslide victory off the back of a promise to wipe out drug abuse. Since then thousands of people have been killed in his so called "war on drugs" and the president stands accused of personally spearheading an attack against critical voices in the media.
Former international correspondent Andrea Catherwood takes us to the frontline of the battle for press freedom in the country. She goes behind the scenes at Rappler, one of the countries most popular online news sites, to meet CEO Maria Ressa, who faces a lengthy prison term if convicted under libel law, in a case she claims is politically motivated. Ed Lingao, a television news anchorman and one of the most well known faces in the Philippines, shares his experience of being accused of being part of a plot to bring down the president. And with the country's biggest television network ABS-CBN awaiting congressional approval and presidential sign-off of its franchise renewal, press freedom advocate Melinda de Jesus considers the impact of President Duterte’s public spat with the media giant.
Andrea is joined by Columbia Journalism School’s Emily Bell and Richard Heydarian, Filipino political analyst and author of The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt of Elite Democracy. Together they examine the allegations against the administration and the media and find out how journalists in the Philippines are adapting to the challenges and fighting back.
Producer: Emily Williams
Executive producer: Will Yates
(Photo: Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, CEO of online news outfit Rappler, participates in a protest by press and media groups calling for press freedom in Manila, Philippines. Credit: Getty Images)
Media Front: India - The future of journalism
India's ruling party the BJP won a landslide victory in the country's May general election. The party bypassed traditional media channels and exploited India's love of social media to deliver their message direct to voters.
Andrea Catherwood is a former international correspondent for CNBC and ITN. In the age of the unmediated political leader she asks - what's the future for journalism in India?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his own radio show, his own app and is among the most popular global leaders on Twitter. Meanwhile, many traditional media outlets, already struggling in a mobile first country, are dependent on the Government which is their largest advertiser. Some observers fear that the result is a subservient and unchallenging media.
We hear about the real dangers for journalists who speak out against the Indian government and its supporters, consider how journalists and the media landscape will fare during the next five years of Modi's premiership and discuss the current media climate with a BJP supporting Indian politician and journalist.
Andrea Catherwood is joined by Emily Bell, a professor at Columbia Journalism School, for whom these issues have global resonance.
(Photo: Indian men read newspaper outside a polling station in Agra Uttar Pradesh. Credit: Nasir Kachroo/Getty Images)
Ground Shift: Sustainability and the millennial farmers
Anna Jones asks young farmers how they plan to feed the world while protecting the land they have inherited. Can we balance commercial food production with the needs of our increasingly fragile natural environment?
In New Zealand, dairy farmer Richard Fowler talks about the epiphany which changed his whole approach to farming, and why he is willing to accept less milk for more grass and better soil.
In Iowa, USA, Wade Dooley is planting cover crops and returning livestock to worn-out fields that have grown only grain for decades. In a bid to save his soils and improve water quality, he’s learning to do more with less.
There is a shift in the mind-set of the Millennial farmer; whereas the past was about productivity, the future is about sustainability.
But the mood is different in Ghana, west Africa. Here the focus is on food security and driving productivity. Far from easing off on the chemicals, smallholder farmers are being urged to use more – and that comes from the top of Government. Anna sits down with the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
And in the Australian outback, a land hit by years of drought followed by catastrophic flooding, Anna asks how farmers will remain resilient in the face of climate change. What does the future hold for our Millennial farmers?
(Photo: Dried-up river bed in Olga Downs, Australia. Credit: Anna Jones)