Index on Censorship

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Group.png Index on Censorship   Sourcewatch Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Index on Censorship.png
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Sponsored byKoch family foundations, National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundations
Membership• Ruth Smeeth
• Trevor Phillips
• David Aaronovitch
• Anthony Barling
• Kiri Kankhwende
• Kate Maltby
• Sanjay Nazerali
• Elaine Potter
• David Schlesinger
• Mark Stephens
• Jodie Ginsberg
• Rachael Jolley
• Matt Townsend
• David Sewell
• Sean Gallagher
• Joy Hyvarinen
• David Astor
• Edward Crankshaw

With roots in the Cold War, Index on Censorship is a campaigning publishing organisation for freedom of expression, which produces a quarterly magazine of the same name from London.


Per 2020, the Chief Executive of Index on Censorship is Ruth Smeeth [1], who formerly ran an Israeli-led campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and is a confidential informer for the US embassy. In the period 2014-2020, the Chief Executive was Jodie Ginsberg.[2]

It is directed by the non-profit-making Writers and Scholars International (WSI) in association with the UK-registered charity Index on Censorship (founded as the Writers and Scholars Educational Trust), which are both chaired by the British writer and author David Aaronovitch. WSI was created by poet Stephen Spender, Oxford philosopher Stuart Hampshire, the then editor of The Observer David Astor, writer and Soviet Union expert Edward Crankshaw.[3]

The founding editor of Index on Censorship was the critic and translator Michael Scammell (1972–81), who still serves as a patron of the organisation.[4]

In a classic Cold War tactic, the focus areas align with the UK government. For example, during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, WSI has focused on "the silencing of medics in China who sought to inform the world about the effects of Covid-19,[5]" or problems for people and media who are for more lockdown[6], but barely covers the hard clampdown on dissenting opinions against the lockdown in the UK and friendly countries.

In true cut-out fashion, it states it is "regularly quoted by the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Daily Telegraph[7]


WSI is funded from a variety of establishment government cut-outs and corporate foundations, including the National Endowment for Democracy,Fritt Ord, Charles Koch Foundation, Google, Facebook,Open Democracy,Open Society Foundations, Vice News and the European Commission[8].



Koch family foundationsControlled by the billionaire Koch brothers, who finance the 'right' in US politics when they say the right things.
National Endowment for DemocracyThe "traditional intermediary of the CIA", promoting the US "national interest" by "soft power".
Open Society FoundationsA NGO operating in more countries than McDonald's. It has the tendency to support politicians (at times through astroturfing) and activists that get branded as "extreme left" as its founder is billionaire and bane of the pound George Soros. This polarizing perspective causes the abnormal influence of the OSF to go somewhat unanswered.


Known Participants

3 of the 18 of the participants already have pages here:

David AaronovitchUK deep state propagandist on topics from the Bilderberg group to the UK COVID-19 Lockdown. Denied being connected to the Integrity Initiative although leaked documents included his name.
David AstorThe Observer Editor for over 25 years, attended 2 Bilderbergs in the 1950s
Ruth Smeeth


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Index on DisgraceArticle22 April 2018Craig Murray"We thus have the extraordinary spectacle of a coordinated government and media onslaught on anybody who doubts their entirely fact free narratives. Public trust in the state and corporate media hits new lows, which is the happy part of this story."


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