By Samantha Power
February 16, 2023

To that end, the United States has launched several new initiatives—many of them inspired by activists, civil society, and pro-democracy nongovernmental organizations—under the banner of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal, which Biden unveiled at his 2021 Summit for Democracy. For instance, we have heard from independent journalists around the world that one of the major impediments to their work, in addition to death threats and intimidation, is lawsuits brought against them by those whose corruption they seek to expose. These frivolous lawsuits can cost journalists and their outlets millions of dollars, putting some out of business and creating a chilling effect for others. In addition to helping strengthen the physical security of news organizations, therefore, USAID has established a new insurance fund, Reporters Shield, that will help investigative journalists and civil society actors defend themselves against bogus charges. In recognition of the economic challenges all traditional media outlets face even in the United States, we have also organized a new effort to help media organizations that are struggling financially develop business plans, lower costs, find audiences, and tap into new sources of revenue so that they do not go bankrupt when independent journalism is needed most.
To fend off this coordinated assault, the world’s democracies must also work together. That is why in March 2023, the Biden administration will host its second Democracy Summit—this time, held simultaneously in Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United States, and Zambia—where the world’s democracies will take stock of their efforts and put forward new plans for democratic renewal.