MEDIA

The Federal Election Commission is moving to improve disclosure of the money behind Internet and digital ads, as the shadow of Russian-funded social media ads in last year's presidential race hangs over the agency.

"We can't, obviously, take over the role of the Justice Department or of Congress," Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub told other commissioners Thursday, "but I do think that we could do this little piece."

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Another prominent public figure has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden said now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., forced himself on her and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006.

Governor Dannel Malloy has condemned the legislature’s decision to take over control of the CT-N public affairs network as “despicable.” 

Now that the Connecticut legislature has taken control over its own television network, some advocates of government transparency are questioning the move.

Robert Siegel, senior host of NPR's All Things Considered, is speaking to the Vermont Humanities Council this week, reflecting on more than four decades working in radio newsrooms. It's an apt time for reflection for the seasoned host, as he prepares to step away from the mic and retire in January 2018.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., wasted no time on Wednesday connecting the abstract story that is Russian election interference to strife in the real world.

With lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google sitting before him, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman described a divisive scene in Houston last year — engineered entirely by Russian influence-mongers.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

NPR's senior vice president for news, Michael Oreskes, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment from several women.

The accounts of two women, first published by The Washington Post, describe Oreskes unexpectedly kissing them during meetings in the late 1990s, while he was Washington bureau chief for The New York Times. An NPR employee has also come forward publicly about harassment that allegedly occurred during a business meeting-turned-dinner in 2015.

NPR has placed its senior vice president for news, Michael Oreskes, on leave after fielding accusations that he sexually harassed two women seeking career opportunities nearly two decades ago, when he worked at The New York Times.

Government transparency may be one of the casualties of the bipartisan budget deal approved by the General Assembly. The public affairs television network CT-N took a budget hit that may force the network off the air as early as Wednesday when its current contract expires.

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