The Infodemic

The Infodemic
How Censorship and Lies Made the World Sicker and Less Free

How Censorship Turned a Terrible Disease Into an Assault on Rights

As COVID-19 spread around the world, so did government censorship. The Infodemic lays bare not just old-fashioned censorship, but also the mechanisms of a modern brand of “censorship through noise,” which moves beyond traditional means of state control—such as the jailing of critics and restricting the flow of information—to open the floodgates of misinformation, overwhelming the public with lies and half-truths.

Joel Simon and Robert Mahoney, who have traveled the world for many years defending press freedom and journalists’ rights as the directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, chart the onslaught of COVID censorship beginning in China, through Iran, Russia, India, Egypt, Brazil, and inside the Trump White House. Increased surveillance in the name of public health, the collapse of public trust in institutions, and the demise of local news reporting all contributed to help governments hijack the flow of information and usurp power. Full of vivid characters and behind the scenes accounts, The Infodemic shows how under the cover of a global pandemic, governments have undermined freedom and taken control—this new political order may be the legacy of the disease.


Read Nicholas Lemann’s Letter to the Reader

The Infodemic
  • ISBN: 9781735913681
  • Price: 16.00
  • E-book ISBN: 9781735913698
  • On Sale: April 5, 2022

About the author

Joel Simon is a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School and formerly the Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Before joining CPJ, he worked as a journalist in Latin America and California. He is the author of three books, including We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Hostages, Kidnapping, and Ransom, also from Columbia Global Reports. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.  @Joelcpj

Robert Mahoney is Deputy Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He was a Reuters correspondent with postings in Southeast Asia, West Africa, India, Israel, France and Germany. This is Robert’s first book. He lives in New York City.  @RobertMMahoney