WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 02.10.2014


censorship

“If you can’t stomach the gore, don’t run the photo. Period,” wrote Orange County Register Editor Charles Apple, who first brought attention to The Daily News’ photoshopping.

The Daily News declined to comment on its editorial decision, but the question of whether to publish graphic images is one many other editors confront.

FOR GORE

Some advocate for the publication of graphic photos, arguing that text can never show the true magnitude of a horror as visuals do.

“I think TV news distances and ‘shrink-wraps’ human suffering,” writes Zeynep Tufekci, a fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. “[A]nd I believe such mode of reporting is against the public interest.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-18 12:30

This article was updated at 10:11 am on Friday, November 9. 

In stark juxtaposition with the boisterous political process we have recently witnessed in the United States is the choreographed 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which opened in Beijing this morning. During this weeklong meeting, the single party state will undergo its once-in-a-decade political transition, with President Hu Jintao handing the Party’s reigns to Vice President Xi Jinping.

Colloquially known as the “Eighteenth Big,” or “shiba da,” this is the first Communist Party Congress to be taking place in the age of Weibo, China’s three year-old Twitter equivalent, which has around 300 million users. Chinese social media commentators, however, are up against a much more foreboding foe than that which unnerved some of their American counterparts in the lead-up to election night: instead of the prospect of a great white fail whale, they are confronted with the reality of a Great Firewall.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-11-08 19:28

The micro-blogging site Twitter announced yesterday that it had blocked the account of a neo-Nazi group accused by German authorities of inciting hatred towards foreigners. In a landmark case, unprecedented in pitting concerns over censorship and free speech against national laws on the incitement to racial hatred, the company said it had complied with a request by German police who have been monitoring the activities of the banned far-right group ‘Besseres Hannover’ (‘Better Hannover’) for some time. In a tweet posted on the website, Twitter’s chief lawyer Alex Macgillivray stated:

‘We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan. We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany.’

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-19 18:02

For the 48 years leading up to August 20 of this year, reporters in Burma were required to submit their articles to state censors before publication, who would hand them back covered in red ink, keeping a tight grip on information that reached public attention. Now, not only has the government abolished this practice, but Burma could be preparing to allow private daily newspapers to emerge in coming months, said Ye Htut, the country’s Deputy Information Minister, on Monday.

“Our minister would like to see private dailies early next year,” Htut told Reuters, referring to the new Information Minister U Aung Kyi, who replaced a “hardliner” in a cabinet reshuffle last month. Currently, there are privately owned weekly journals and monthly magazines operating in Burma, but the four daily newspapers are all state-run.

Aung Kyi, whom Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper has referred to as a “reputed liberal,” apparently plans to introduce a new “Media Law” that all parties would accpet as well as a Press Council, both of which Htut has called “prerequisites” for the emergence of private dailies.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-09-04 14:40

The editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian and two of the weekly newspaper's senior journalists are now considered suspects in a criminal investigation in connection with allegations of theft and illegal distribution of information.

Editor-in-Chief Nic Dawes and investigative reporters Sam Sole and Stefaans Brümmer appeared at a police station in Pretoria yesterday for “warning interviews” with the directorate for priority crime investigation (also known as the Hawks) where they were read their rights and given an opportunity to respond to the charges laid against them at the behest of presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj last November. If they are found guilty, the three could potentially face 15-year prison sentences.

The criminal charges stem from an article that the newspaper had been due to publish last November pertaining to Maharaj’s possible involvement with a corrupt arms deal that took place in the mid-1990s, while he was transport minister.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-27 15:18

Twenty-three years after tanks surged into Beijing and the military opened fire on pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square, Twitter’s primary Chinese counterpart Sina Weibo has snuffed out the virtual flames of remembrance. Talk of the tragedy of June 4, 1989, which has never been publically commemorated in mainland China, is now being censored in both state-controlled and social media.

Yesterday Sina Weibo, the largest and most popular microblogging site in China, deactivated a candle emoticon – formerly used to commemorate deaths reported in the news – when its "rumour control" squad noticed that netizens had begun to adopt it as a symbol of the Tiananmen anniversary, according to the Shanghaiist.

Soon afterward, the Olympic flame emoticon, designed to promote this summer’s games, was deployed as a replacement, and extinguished in turn.

Sina Weibo also blocked access to the search terms “candle” and “never forget,” and to references to the date of the crackdown that took place 23 years ago today such as “six four” (June 4) and “23,” reported The Next Web.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-04 16:13

This week, The Guardian launches a seven-day series examining different aspects of Internet censorship around the world, journalism.co.uk reports. What makes this series so interesting, apart from its illuminating coverage of the intricacies of Internet control? The site also offers online versions of the articles translated into Chinese, Russian, and Estonian for non-English speaking readers whose home countries may be facing concerns about the open Internet, or even total online censorship. 

 “The Guardian is taking stock of the new battlegrounds for the Internet,” the website says. “From states stifling dissent to the new cyberwar front line, we look at the challenges facing the dream of an open Internet.”

The first day of the series, titled, “Day one: the new cold war,” features stories about microbloggers battling the online firewall in China, the possibility of government control of the Internet in Russia, and the widespread role of the Internet in Estonia, including issues of cyber attacks, according to The Guardian’s website. Each of the three articles is available in both English and an additional language, depending on the subject of the article.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-16 13:46

From China to Iran, government Internet censorship has become increasingly more prevalent, posing numerous concerns to advocates of cyber freedom. As we previously reported, there are now 40 governments that censor the Internet, up from only four in 2002. Yet one of the biggest promoters of Internet freedom—the United States—may in fact be enabling these restrictive governments in censoring and monitoring their citizens, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Censorship and surveillance require extensive software and hardware, many of which are actually created by US and other Western companies and sold to countries with restrictive internet policies, Foreign Policy said.

According to The Atlantic, such technologies can easily be used against citizen journalists in countries with little press freedom, preventing the dissemination of valuable data.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-05 18:04

It seems the corruption of the news media in China extends not only to suppressing negative content, but also to planting positive content as well. According to The New York Times, various Chinese print and television media organizations regularly profile executives or otherwise feature companies in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes.

Although such practices are technically illegal in China, the transactions are so rampant that many public relations firms and advertising agencies openly admitted to paying for coverage, the article said.

The Bejing office of Ogilvy and Mather, for example, told The New York Times in an email, “Our policy is to advise our clients to not participate in such activities. However, in some industries, such as luxury, the practice of soft news placements is very common so this is something that we have also done before.”  

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-04 18:50

The historic electoral gains for Burma's heroine Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy may bring additional opportunities for the opposition to influence government from the inside, but Burma’s press freedoms still remain deeply restricted, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports

Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former political prisoner, and several other members of her party won at least 43 of 44 parliamentary seats in a by-election on Monday, though results have not yet been confirmed by the Election Commission, according to USA Today. Burma, controled by a military junta until last year, has begun transforming itself into a democracy, from holding public elections to giving foreign journalists access to the country to report on the voting, USA Today said.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-03 17:17

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