Clarke Forum: Journalism in Conflict: Reporting from Ukraine and Beyond


“Greatest single immediate threat”

-Anthony Borden on the threat posed by disinformation

I found the latest Clarke Forum event with journalist Anthony Borden to be incredibly pertinent to class. A theme that I noticed from his presentation was that of disinformation. Disinformation according to Mr. Borden is posing a massive threat to journalist around the world.  He said, “it is the thing that divides us.”  he referenced the Afghan news network as being both sensitive and very complex. This made me think about Yemen and the parallel presented between these two cases. Both states plagued with internal conflict and a largely ineffective media sector, characterized by a hostile environment for journalists. To send this point home further Mr. Borden mentioned how a small number of his personal colleagues have even been jailed. this made me realize that his story seems reminiscent of a lot of what I have heard of Journalists within Yemen.

Additionally, I found that Mr. Bordens talk about the means in which top-down messaging has proved ineffective to be fascinating. This coupled with how Mr. Borden mentioned the Russian media strategy with Ukraine also provided several parallels to my keeping up with Yemeni news. I do wonder if in the Yemeni case if fake websites and false narratives are also prevalent. In my research I will look into this more going forward.

Lastly, the point that I found to be most interesting from Mr. Bordens speech was his insight into how to help media groups within Ukraine. After having a touching talk in answering a Ukrainian students question on how to help. He mentioned how donating money to Media Groups, which goes toward flak jackets and other protective measures. This aid will be even more relevant as he cited the looming threat of improving artificial intelligence technologies as a reason means for potentially more disinformation being spread. I wonder if this could be applicable to Yemen as well.

In the end, I am very glad I went to the talk, and I thought it pertained to class in a variety of ways.


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