Online Free Speech and Internet Access: Challenges Facing Journalists, Media, and Civil Society

5.8.2017, 2:00PM to 3:00PM


The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) hosted a panel discussion on online free speech and internet access, and the subsequent challenges facing journalists, media, and civil society.

An open internet – where citizens can express themselves, share and debate ideas, and conduct commerce online – is considered an essential part of a modern, vibrant democracy and market economy. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has, for example, repeatedly stated that all people should have equal access to the internet and to enjoy their rights to freedom of expression online. However, internet freedom is at a critical juncture today. Recognizing that the internet is now one of the most valued ways for people to connect, many authoritarian states and declining democracies are imposing restrictive regulations and online repression, putting the work of civil society and journalists under threat. How can independent voices have a safe space online in an unsecure digital world?

Panel speakers explored how journalists and civil society organizations are maneuvering challenging circumstances to continue playing their role to hold governments accountable and transparent, as well as ensuring their rights to freedom of expression online.

Watch full video:


  • Angela Greiling Keane, Deputy Technology Editor, POLITICO
  • Maiko Nakagaki, Program Officer, Global Programs, CIPE
  • Mark Nelson, Senior Director, Center for International Media Assistance, National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
  • Nancy Scola, Senior Technology Reporter, POLITICO, (discussion moderator)

About the panelists:

  • Angela Greiling Keane is the deputy technology editor for POLITICO Pro. She was the 2013 National Press Club president. Greiling Keane previously spent nearly a decade at Bloomberg News, as a White House correspondent and reporter covering auto and railroad policy and freight transportation companies. Prior to that, she was an associate editor at Traffic World magazine and a Washington correspondent for the Small Newspaper Group. She grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from the University of Missouri.
  • Maiko Nakagaki is a program officer for Global Programs at CIPE, where she oversees cross-regional projects involving digital economy and development, internet freedom, and women’s economic empowerment. She has authored multiple case studies and blogs on the subject of digital development economic growth. Prior to joining CIPE, she consulted for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Cairo to evaluate gender inclusive private sector development projects in the Middle East region. She holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a bachelor’s from Mount Holyoke College.
  • Mark Nelson is Senior Director at the National Endowment for Democracy where he heads the Center for International Media Assistance, a research and knowledge platform focused on the role of news media in building and sustaining democratic societies. Nelson joined CIMA from the World Bank, where he spent 17 years as a governance and capacity development expert. Before moving to Washington in 2004, he spent eight years in Paris as head of the World Bank Institute’s European office, where he focused on democratic governance, including the role of the media. From 1985 through 1996, Nelson was European diplomatic correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, based in Brussels, Berlin and Paris.
  • Nancy Scola is a senior technology reporter for POLITICO Pro. For more than a decade, Scola has covered the intersections of technology, politics, and public policy for a wide variety of outlets. She has served as a tech policy reporter for the Washington Post, a contributing writer at Next City, and a tech and politics correspondent for the Atlantic. As a freelance writer, she has contributed to the Atlantic, Washingtonian, Reuters, and many other publications. Scola grew up in northern New Jersey and is a graduate of both the George Washington University and Boston University, with degrees in anthropology from each. (discussion moderator)



Center for International Private Enterprise
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