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Voice of America: Role of the Free Press Amid Intensifying Attacks on Global Media

Autocratic governments around the globe increasingly seek to intimidate the news media into silence. Russia, for example, moved quickly to shut down factual news coverage. Nicaragua’s crackdown chases many journalists into exile.

  • How do authorities attempt to control media coverage and do governments use similar tactics?
  • Is there ever a legitimate reason for government to censor or control media coverage?
  • What role should democracies play in the struggle for the free flow of information, both internally and externally?

As VOA celebrates its 80th anniversary, please join Acting VOA Director Yolanda López and a distinguished panel for a virtual discussion of this topic.

Voice of America: Role of the Free Press Amid Intensifying Attacks on Global Media

1 p.m., EDT, Tuesday April 26, 2022

Introduction: Yolanda López, Acting VOA Director

Moderator: Jessica Jerreat, VOA Press Freedom Editor


Clayton Weimers, Deputy Director, U.S. office of Reporters Without Borders

Cindy Regidor, Nicaraguan journalist, correspondent for Nicaraguan news outlet Confidencial and France 24

Danila Galperovich, VOA Russian service correspondent

Watch a playback of the live program:

Speaker Biographies:

Yolanda López, Acting VOA Director

A veteran journalist, Yolanda López was appointed Acting VOA Director on January 21, 2021. She has led VOA coverage through a particularly turbulent time in global affairs: the coup in Myanmar, the evacuation of Afghan journalists following the Taliban takeover and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prior to the appointment, Yolanda served as Director of the VOA News Center, overseeing all editorial and content production, including US elections and the pandemic. She joined VOA in 2015 as Latin America Division Director. Under her leadership, the division experienced significant growth in audience by expanding media partnerships and affiliations. A native of Barcelona, Spain, she worked for the Spanish language television network Univision as news director, producer, and executive producer. Prior to joining Univision, she was an on-air personality for a Telemundo affiliate in Texas. López was a communications and digital media professional in Barcelona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Jessica Jerreat, VOA Press Freedom Editor

Jessica Jerreat leads VOA’s award-winning press freedom coverage, which takes an in-depth look at the challenges and risks to media globally. Prior to joining VOA in March 2020, Jerreat worked at the intersection of press freedom and international news for organizations including the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, where she edited reports on global censorship and attacks on the press, and The Times of London. VOA’s dedicated press freedom coverage, led by Jerreat, won the inaugural Association for International Broadcasting media freedom award in 2021. She was part of the reporting team presented with the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Press Criticism award for coverage of events taking place in VOA’s own newsroom. Jerreat has a master’s in War, Media, and Society from the University of Kent at Canterbury, with a focus on propaganda, the press and conflict in the Korean War.

Clayton Weimers, Deputy Director, U.S. office of Reporters Without Borders

Clayton Weimers is the Deputy Director of Reporters Without Borders' Washington, DC Bureau, where he oversees the international NGO's North American advocacy. A native of Chicago, he has worked in campaigns, public affairs, and advocacy in around DC for the past eight years.

Cindy Regidor, Nicaraguan journalist, Correspondent for Nicaraguan news outlet Confidencial, Freelance Correspondent for France 24

Cindy Regidor is a Nicaraguan journalist with fifteen years of experience in print, television and digital media. She holds a master's degree in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from the United Nations University for Peace.

She is currently part of the Nicaraguan news outlet Confidencial, the TV programs Esta Noche and Esta Semana, and the founder and editor of the Nicas Migrantes (Nicaraguan migrants) section at Cindy is also a freelance correspondent for France 24 Spanish based in San Jose, Costa Rica, and has reported from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Danila Galperovich, VOA Russian service correspondent

VOA Russian Service journalist, based in Washington D.C. 54 y.o. Started to work for Voice of America in 2012 as freelance reporter in Moscow, Russia, in US from January of 2018. Previously worked as a correspondent and presenter for the BBC Russian Service and Radio Liberty (RFERL Russian Service). Reported from first and second wars in Chechnya, G7 and NATO summits. Recorded numerous interviews with US, EU and Russian politicians, prominent public figures, civic activists. Specialization – US-EU-Russia relations, freedom of speech, human rights.