Innovation That Matters

Music sharing

Journalists pair articles with music to fight press censorship

Publishing & Media

A German-led campaign to resist press censorship pairs original articles to music and makes the songs freely available on streaming platforms.

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Launched on the annual World Day Against Cyber Censorship (March 12), the Uncensored Playlist project made previously censored articles freely available. Using 10 articles written by five journalists, the project pairs the written pieces to music. Streaming music platforms are freely available in most countries that deny the freedom of the press. With this in mind, ‘Reporters Without Borders’ in Germany saw an opportunity. Working with journalists from Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Egypt, Thailand and China, the project produced 10 pop songs using native instruments and musicians.

The lyrics of each song are the words of a censored article, and the campaign uses #truthfindsaway to spread awareness. The Reporters Without Borders Germany team partnered with digital production company MediaMonks and creative agency DDB Berlin on the project. Available on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music, the playlist uses relatively innocuous titles and neutral artwork to evade government censors. Should the original tracks get blocked, the campaign team already has alternative song titles ready in order to re-release the work.

Information on the journalists and their work, including the topics they cover that meet with censure by their governments, is also available on the Playlist’s website. On the music streaming platforms, their identities are protected by aliases.

Fake news has received a lot of coverage by media outlets around the world. Innovators are therefore developing more ways of testing what is being published. One startup is applying the transparency of blockchain transactions to news sources. Moreover, a team of researchers have developed a game to teach people to recognise and avoid disinformation and fake news. How else can people living outside dangerous regions of the world use connectivity to help those living within?



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