Drawing of hand holding magnifying glass over spreadsheet (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

4 ways you can hold officials accountable

Is your government transparent? Knowing what elected officials say, do and spend is vital to an open government. Here's how you can keep tabs on officials.
Illustration of a hand holding a computer mouse crashing through a roadblock (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

Censor the internet? Bad idea.

Censoring the internet censors free speech. Political dissent, strong language and even offensive speech are part of a strong democracy.
Illustration of people practicing four freedoms (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

What does it mean to be free from want or fear?

Before the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt declared four universal freedoms. Are they relevant today?
Illustration of a Chinese official blacking out words on a speech balloon (State Dept./D. Thompson)

In China, you can’t say these words

The Chinese government censors newspapers, television, social media and the internet to control their citizens. Here is a list of words you can't say.
Maikel Moreno and Nicolás Maduro speaking (© Ariana Cubillos/AP Images)

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela explained

Learn more about what the U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan entities close to the illegitimate Maduro regime actually do and why they matter.
Illustration of someone cutting puppet strings connected to globe (State Dept./D. Thompson)

Sovereignty: What it means and what it doesn’t

When President Trump speaks of sovereignty, he means something very specific that lies at the heart of America's democracy.
Ships at seaport (© Igor Grochev/Shutterstock)

Countries in Africa reject Belt and Road deals

Some countries in Africa have suspended or canceled projects that are part of China's global Belt and Road Initiative. Find out why.

Media freedom is important. Here’s what you can do.

Journalists are threatened worldwide more than ever before, yet a free press is key to a healthy, equitable society.
Cartoon drawing of man in tiger suit riding a donkey (© Bettmann/Getty Images)

In the U.S., people power dismantled political machines

A century ago, corrupt political machines that made their leaders rich thrived in U.S. cities. But people came together to reform the system.