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Background

I cannot find the source, but I have read or heard that the Romanian mass media virtually ignored the worrying US Department State Country Report on Human Rights Practices:

Some reporters throughout the country continued to be harassed, sued, or threatened by authorities they investigated or by their proxies.

Indeed the only local source mentioning it is this one (Romanian) and no local mainstream media seemed to have mentioned anything about it.

Question

This made me wonder why the US department is putting time and money into making these reports since the local media can simply ignore it and the message reaches only a tiny fraction of the target country's population.

Is this mostly for US (and possibly other) companies to fully understand the political landscape of a country before investing in it? Is there any other reason?

Note: I have tagged this with Romania to narrow down, but I assume that an answer would apply to multiple (if not most) of the countries mentioned in these reports.

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  • Please note that not reporting on Human rights practices does not increase the audience either. Somebody probably has to document these things for ... historians, humankind as a whole? Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 11:31

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As this is a department that is part of the US government, paid through taxes of US citizen the most plausible target audience are US citizens. This may be irrelevant for most of them but it can be useful if a US citizen intends to travel to Romania (there is more specific information for tourism as well) or if a US citizen wants to purchase or open some kind of business in Romania. One would probably want some suitable legal advice as well but this kind of information can be useful to see whether there are additional risks.

As a specific example, suppose you want to open a chain of gay bars. In the US this is unproblematic. In a few parts of the world this might get you in legal trouble but in a lot more countries it may be technically legal but in practice you might face opposition and no help from the government in cases of trouble. These reports of the department of state could give you some base information on what to expect.

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