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The New CensorshipInside the Global Battle for Media Freedom$
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Joel Simon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160643

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160643.001.0001

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The Democratators

The Democratators

(p.32) Two The Democratators
The New Censorship

Joel Simon

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines one of the most critical challenges to the media, the “democratators,” who came from a new generation of autocrats. The democratators have adapted to the new global reality as a result of being deprived of an ideological basis for state control of information. Instead of counting on direct control and brute force, they use stealth, manipulations, and trickery. While a few old-style dictatorships exercise absolute control over their domestic media, today's autocrats generally attempt to hide their policies behind a democratic façade and thus become part of the international community. Some of the most successful democratators include Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. The chapter looks at these countries' systems of media control and how each leader established strategies of tyranny based on trial and error and their own historical circumstances.

Keywords:   democratators, autocrats, state control of information, domestic media, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, media control

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