WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sat - 25.10.2014


freedom of expression

The creator of both the website and magazine is Jesus Maraña, former director of Público, an online newspaper in Spain. After the dissolution of Público last year, Maraña met with Mediapart to launch infoLibre. Relying on reader subscriptions rather than ads, the online newspaper is dedicated to reporting the news without political or financial backers. Listed on their website are eight journalistic principles that infoLibre promises to maintain. The majority of infoLibre’s staff comes from other major Spanish newspapers.

In an interview with Mediapart, Maraña said journalism in Spain suffers from a “weakness” which affects how readers get their news. With Spain facing an increasing economic crisis, Maraña partnered with other journalists to create a one-stop source for news.

infoLibre is divided into five categories; politics, economy, culture, society, and the media. The site also has a “true or false” tab where they take articles and rate them based on their validity. The print version, Tinta Libre, allows non-members of infoLibre to access exclusive content different from that of the website.

In an interview with El Mundo, Maraña expressed hope that the quality content of infoLibre will result in potential subscribers. The site will also publish its annual accounts.

Author

Briana Seftel

Date

2013-03-11 18:04

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers recorded 68 journalist deaths in 2012, with the on-going Syrian conflict responsible for the highest number of casualties. The by-product of a globally connected age may be an insatiable desire for information, yet the sad truth is that journalists continue to die gathering it.

While the causes vary, the common thread, according to Guy Berger, Director of the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, is that “killers are not being brought to book.”

The word for this is impunity - a failure of justice and a measure of just how broken a society can become. Impunity for those who attack journalists – whether the perpetrators are criminals, terrorists, or government officials - sends an institutionalised message that it is acceptable to target those who speak out or reveal uncomfortable truths. It discourages investigation and silences critics, devaluing the watchdog status of the press over governing institutions. It allows the powerful to ride roughshod over our rights and freedoms.

Worse still, impunity perpetuates similar attacks, year after year. In the decade between 2002 and 2012, at least 801 journalist deaths have been registered.

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2013-01-31 16:37

Renowned Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, whose satirical drawings targeting corruption and lampooning dictators have been published worldwide, received the 2012 Gebran Tueni Award Wednesday, an annual prize given jointly by WAN-IFRA and Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper that honours an outstanding individual from the news media in the Arab region.

The award recognises Mr Farzat’s unprecedented contribution to freedom of expression and acknowledges his unwavering commitment, despite physical attack, to exposing the excesses of power through his cartoons.

The ceremony took place in Beirut on 11 December on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the murder of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and a leading WAN-IFRA Board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005. Mr Farzat was unable to collect the award in person due to security concerns, but joined the ceremony via Skype to give his thanks to An-Nahar and praise the memory of its iconic late publisher.

“His cartoons transcend borders, cultures and political divides: they speak a thousand words on behalf of human indignity,” said Lars Munch, Director of Denmark’s JP/Politikens, accepting the award on Mr Farzat’s behalf. “He has no intention of laying his pen to rest.”

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2012-12-14 11:27

‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’, remarks Plato in Book I of The Republic – and that was in fifth-century Athens, the cradle of democracy, political freedom and western culture. One feels that his diagnosis of the present miasma of dysfunction, corruption and post-modernistic nihilism at the heart of Greek governance may have elaborated on that aphorism somewhat. 

Indeed, the headline of an article in today’s Guardian by the recently arrested journalist Kostas Vaxevanis makes a similar point. In publishing the names of over 2,000 wealthy Greeks alleged to have Swiss bank accounts, Vaxevanis attracted censure from authorities who seem more concerned with the prosecution of journalists than with suspected tax dodgers and money launderers. The standoff coincides with a strike due to start today over the suspension of two popular television presenters after they criticized a government official, in what together amounts to a significant assault on freedom of expression by a political class who appear to either comprise or be in thrall to the moneyed elite.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-30 18:43

With four days to go before the Ukrainian parliamentary elections on 28 October, the outlook for freedom of expression in the country’s media remains decidedly mixed. As the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today starts the second cycle of its Universal Periodic Review, Reporters Without Borders (who, like WAN-IFRA, have this year compiled a report on the subject) have ‘sounded the alarm’ over conditions surrounding freedom of information which, it states, ‘have worsened to such a degree that the country is at a turning point’. Ukraine has long been a concern for free speech campaigners; background to the ongoing international dialogue can be found in recent posts on this blog here and here, along with the full report from the delegation sent there in July of this year.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-24 17:12

There is little doubt that the powerful and famous in France have an easier time of it - in both the eyes of the media and the public - than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts when it comes to their private lives. The scandals of recent and less recent years involving senior French politicians, sometimes involving the sort of baffling sexual complexity and clandestine intrigue that wouldn’t be out of place at Louis XIV’s Versailles, would have felled their British or American equivalents before they could say ‘Je suis désolé’. Yet Hollande is still in the Élysée, Mitterrand was President for 14 years without the existence of his ‘secret family’ ever being acknowledged, and it would be rash to bet against a comeback from the famously indefatigable Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-22 18:09

Venezuelans take to the polls on Sunday in what many commentators are describing as the most important election in a generation – not only for the oil-rich nation but also for the entire continent. Despite reports of an alarming increase in attacks against the media that have constricted open debate, public opinion may not be as one-sided as official statistics suggest. With rising discontent and a polarised electorate, the stage is set for a dramatic run-in this weekend that could have reverberations for Leftist governments throughout the Americas.

If Public TV were sole barometer for electoral opinion, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles would have abandoned his campaign months ago. Coverage of incumbent President Hugo Chávez in the public media has eclipsed that of his unifying challenger, with years of government manoeuvring having succeeded in turning the state’s media apparatus into nothing short of a pro-Chávez propaganda machine. This is despite strict rules limiting both candidates to only three minutes of airtime per-day. The last private station to have sparred with the government, Globovisión, was relieved of over US$2 million following a Supreme Court decision to uphold fines many perceived to be in direct retaliation for the channel’s critical coverage. Despite the setback, the channel has continued its pro-opposition stance.

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2012-10-05 17:39

On September 26 Italy's supreme court sentenced Alessandro Sallusti, editor-in-chief of the daily Il Giornale, to 14 months in jail for defamation.

Sallusti was found guilty of aggravated defamation over an article that appeared in 2007 about a thirteen-year-old girl who had an abortion. The article was published in Libero, a daily newspaper of which Sallusti was editor-in-chief at the time, and was written by another journalist and signed under the pseudonym 'Dreyfus'. It was considered to be defamatory against the judge of Turin Giuseppe Cocilovo, who gave consent for the abortion. According to Italian law, Sallusti, as editor-in-chief of the paper, is liable for everything that is published, which is even more relevant in case of an anonymous article.

Italy's highest court rejected Sallusti’s appeal and condemned him to 14 months in jail with no parole, and ordered him to pay court expenses and reimburse the plaintiff for a total of €4,500 expenses incurred during the proceedings, A.G.I. reported.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-09-27 15:44

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