Soft censorship

“Soft censorship” or “indirect state censorship” is an effective means of media manipulation and control not through direct and violent methods, but by means of indirect pressure.

Soft censorship is used to promote positive coverage of and to punish media outlets that criticize officials or their actions. It is the practice of influencing news coverage of state bodies and officials and their policies and activities through allocation or withholding of state media spending such as subsidies, advertising, and other media contracts or assistance. Other forms of soft censorship are selective application of licensing, permits or regulations, to shape the broad media landscape, promote or diminish the economic viability of specific media houses or outlets; and/or reward or punish content produced by individual media workers.

Five categories of soft censorship


WAN-IFRA's recommendations