Welcome to Semafor Media, where all politics is decidedly not local.
The annual gala for the Committee to Protect Journalists is uniquely moving on the self-congratulatory journalism circuit, because it focuses almost entirely on non-American reporters doing dangerous work in hard places. Thursday night’s dinner saw honorees from Mexico, India and Georgia, and an extraordinary speech by the exiled Togolese journalist Ferdinand Ayité.
Ayité made the case that even relatively privileged American and European journalists should be eying that trend warily. He described the situation for media in the countries of the Sahel — in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso — in terms that are just familiar enough: Journalists there work “not only under threat from the authorities, but also from self-proclaimed groups of patriots who are against all those who do not support the narratives of the ruling military regimes.”
“We should not allow islands of lawlessness and dictatorship to flourish anywhere on this earth, just because they seem far from us,” he said. “Like a pandemic or a cancer, it will spread and contaminate other localities and regions.”
Also in today’s newsletter, Max has a new glimpse at the man at the red hot intersection of Republican politics and Twitter’s business — the CEO’s son. AND: Truth Social’s legal letters, doubts about a Twitter script, and Audacy on the brink. (Scoop count: 5)