What would you do if you lived in a country with no access to outside perspectives or new information? Alternatively, what if you lived in a society with so much access to information, that it was nearly impossible to locate the information that really mattered? In either case, at which point would this predicament start to become a real problem?
In 1961 my grandmother traveled behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe as an Associated Press correspondent to expose how people were being controlled by propaganda, disinformation, and fear. To accept the assignment, she needed to first learn how to fly a plane, and also learn how to speak Russian and German. This is her story about that experience, what she learned, and why it’s still relevant today.
While it may be difficult to imagine living in a world where information is completely censored, as it was during the time of the Iron Curtain, today censorship is affecting our lives in new, important, and unforeseen ways. Today, disinformation is the new form of censorship. It’s important that we recognize this, and seek out the skills to navigate this new reality in the context of thriving in the Information Age.
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Surely, if Trixie were alive today, she would certainly be able to provide some relevant context to the events we’re seeing unfold in the West surrounding the meddling of foreign countries in Western elections; the polarization of the political parties and the rise of populism; the changing nature of free speech and democracy; accusations of fake news and propaganda, and more.
Enjoy, and please feel free to share any comments!