Around the world, democracy is being challenged and freedom is under attack. In countries where the powerful control the news, the people are forced to choose from bad options. Our mission is to provide unbiased information for free minds, which is why we have made it our job to promote freedom of speech and democratic values in over 180 countries worldwide. Ensuring sleepless nights for autocrats.
DW strives to cover the complex issues surrounding free speech and media freedom by shedding light on crises, victims of human rights violations and initiatives striving to improve the current situation and fosters a greater debate on these issues.
With reports by and interviews with activists, academics, artists, cartoonists, hackers, and authors from all corners of the world, we always have an eye on all the issues that contribute to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion.
Since 2015, DW has been honoring those who are engaged in a daily fight for free expression with the DW Freedom of Speech Award. The winners have included imprisoned bloggers and outspoken journalists – individuals who have offered their lives to ensuring a free media.
More people around the world than ever before can easily communicate and access information. But it is easy to forget that there are many places where people who publish dissenting thought are punished and the free flow information is blocked. DW has made fighting censorship a core principle and works consistently to provide people everywhere with the information they need to understand problems and issues affecting their societies.
In many countries, government control of infrastructure can lead to information being censored or cut off all together. That’s why DW has always worked to provide solutions to circumvent censorship and provide information to the people. For example, people in countries whose governments block or restrict access to independent news can now access DW content securely and anonymously with the support of the OTF (Open Technology Fund) and the Tor Project. DW has installed a mirror proxy that will allow dw.com's web content to be accessed through a web address in the Tor network.
Websites accessible through Tor (The Onion Routing) can be recognized by the extension '.onion.' A special browser such as the Firefox-based Tor browser is necessary in order to gain access to the websites. Besides Deutsche Welle, so far only a few media websites such as those of the New York Times and the BBC offer an onion address.
Over the past decade, DW has also been utilizing a censorship circumvention system called Psiphon, which works by using a network of different proxy servers (an intermediary between a user and an online source). With this technology, users in countries like China and Iran have been given the power to access unbiased information from reliable sources.
By engaging in this technology, we have sent a message: DW will never give up trying to promote a free Internet and provide unbiased, quality news and information to ALL audiences around the world.
The media landscape and the media participation has changed dramatically in the Arab world over the last few years – and not just among young people. Everything is evolving. And while people are technologically more open to communication and discussion than ever – with apps, social media and mobile communications – there seems to be a desire for them to close themselves off from debate.
JaafarTalk wants to change that. It’s a talk show that gives everyone a voice, even those not heard in the Arab world, with topics that aren’t necessarily covered on other channels. It offers controversial discussions on socio-political topics based on the interaction between guests, who come from different countries and represent very different views. At the end of each show, both the studio audience and the viewers get a chance to vote which guest expressed his or her point of view most convincingly. It’s the perfect platform for different types of people to share their opinion and start a dialogue.
JaafarTalk is an interactive talk show that reflects the diversity of the Arab world. Host Abdul Karim will invite guests who represent the different opinions in the region for a fair and lively discussion, but accompanied by research, facts and figures that help present the big picture. You can follow JaafarTalk on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for the latest updates.
Do citizens in Lebanon express their opinions on digital platforms more often than Ukrainians? The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information in selected countries in which DW Akademie works on media development projects together with local partner organizations.
Aiming to provide an overview of the current state of digital participation in these countries as well as to identify new potentials and risks, the #speakup barometer helps media development organizations, NGOs, journalists and other practitioners develop measures to improve digitalization, freedom of expression and free access to information.
How free is the media in your country? Media Freedom Navigator provides an overview of different media freedom indices. You can navigate the world map in order to access media freedom data for each country and background information on each index.
Journalistic work in Turkey is becoming increasingly tough. DW has collaborated with the BBC, France24 and Voice of America to create a YouTube channel to provide the Turkish-speaking audience with credible information that will help them form their own opinions.
The YouTube channel +90, named after the international dialing code for Turkey, provides independent and trusted information, respecting freedom of speech and expression as well as different views on a wide range of topics. The most streamed videos, some of which were translated into German, have been viewed over a million times. +90 covers topics that are sometimes absent from the media landscape in Turkey – like refugees, LGBTQ and women’s rights. By examining these issues in depth, +90 is ensuring a more balanced look at daily life in a vibrant and changing country.