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

By MAE ANDERSON AP Business Writer
Governments around the world are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to justify crackdowns on press freedom. In some cases, regimes have moved to curb alleged misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic that doesn’t align with official proclamations about its spread or severity. In others, the pandemic serves as a distraction by directing national attention away from these incidents. The lack of a robust U.S. defense of press freedom isn’t helping, experts say. While incomplete figures make it difficult to say whether such crackdowns are on the rise this year, media watchers say that COVID-19 has clearly exacerbated press infringements.