WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Wed - 23.07.2014


freedom of speech

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been holding a forum in Paris on May 24-25, ahead of the G8 conference that will start on Thursday 26th May in Deauville.

The forum, dubbed the e-G8, focuses on the future of the Web and its sovereignty and brings together the biggest names in Internet business and new media, including Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, News Corp's Rupert Murdoch and Google's Eric Schmidt, Deutsche Welle reported.

Amongst the main issues addressed during the conference were the regulation of the World Wide Web, privacy and copyright, and net neutrality.

Critics said that some countries are going in the direction of restricting Internet freedoms and handing the net control to companies and governments, going against the principle of the net neutrality (which is a principle that advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers' access to networks that participate in the internet).

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-25 16:03

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, in conjunction with the Open Society Foundation, released a new digital book about the "Coverage of drug trafficking and organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean".

The book, available in English and Spanish, is the result of discussions held at the 8th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas in September 2010.

The book "captures the intense and violent working climate journalists face on a day-to-day basis, one that spawns self-censorship and questions of how coverage can better inform the public", Knight Center News says.

The risks that journalists face in reporting on drug wars, especially in a country like Mexico, have already been amply reported. As previously noted, the country is, together with Pakistan, one of the most dangerous countries for journalists' work.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-24 16:33

3 May is World Press Freedom Day, established as such by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

The day is celebrated worldwide by different international organizations such the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and here, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

"Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession", announces UNESCO's website.

UNESCO has organized a conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 with a focus on how the Internet and digital platforms are contributing to freedom of expression, democratic governance and sustainable development across the globe.
Mashable provides the livestream of the conference here.

WAN-IFRA's theme of this year is the importance of a free press for democracy, whether emerging or well established.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-03 16:48

The International Press Institute (IPI) has recently visited Italy with the aim to explore the digital switchover and the pluralism landscape in the country.

IPI examined the potential challenges to the pluralism of Italy's audiovisual sector resulting from the country's digital switchover, and "suggested that pluralism may be bolstered by the switchover, if the value of pluralism is taken into strong consideration in the establishment of the criteria for the technological move", as the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) reported.

It was a follow-up visit of a first "Press Freedom Mission" conducted in November 2010 with the purpose of assessing restrictions on press freedom in Italy and other potential obstacles affecting journalists' ability to report freely, independently and without undue pressure, as IPI's website reported.

Concerns were expressed about two different areas: the danger that predominant interests in the audiovisual sector could be further consolidated by the country's digital switchover and the frequent use of civil defamation cases against journalists, together with the request for exorbitant compensatory fines, which both have an effect on news reporting and lead to self-censorship.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-22 16:17

Voltaire once said, "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." Freedom of speech is important for dialogue and information. For centuries, people have been defending and fighting for their right to say anything they want. With the growing number of countries supporting free speech, more opinions and ideas are being expressed than ever. Still, it begs the question: Just because you can say anything, should you?

D.C. political blog Wonkette is trying to figure out the answer after putting up a controversial post. In it, writer Jack Steuf mocked former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's son, Trig. Specifically, Steuf made jokes and comments about the three-year-old's Down Syndrome. As a result, he has gained the wrath of both Palin supporters and supporters of the rights of special needs children.

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-22 16:03

The Icelandic parliament, which is working on increasing press freedom in Iceland, passed a new media control law last Saturday. According to IceNews, 30 MPs of the parliament supported the legislation, while 14 were opposed to it and 19 MPs did not vote.

The new law seeks to protect children from obscene content and to ensure freedom of speech. For these aims, a new media committee will be created to mediate between the media, the public and government. The new law is the first of its kind in Iceland as it covers both the press and broadcast media.

The law has been met with criticism, however, arising also from the press. According to IceNews, DV, an Icelandic newspaper, reported that 2000 people have signed a petition that urges the president to veto the law, which would send it to a public referendum.
It is argued, for example, that a creation of a government-controlled committee to protect and enforce press freedom is a contradiction in terms and would end up having the opposite effect. Moreover, RÚV, Iceland's national broadcasting service, is not controlled by the new law, which is seen as controversial by some.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-18 14:23

The journalist's job is to report the truth, but there are places by for doing this, reporters put their lives at risks. Not only in Pakistan and Mexico, which were the most deadly countries for journalists in 2010, but also in Calabria, in southern Italy.

Journalists under threat in this region were the subject of of the session entitled "Calabria: siren land" held yesterday at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-14 17:45

Many Mexican news organizations have agreed a set of common guidelines in reporting the on-going drug war that is wounding the country.

The voluntary, self-policed guidelines are the first of their kind in Mexico, where more than 35,000 people, including at least 22 journalists, have been killed in drug-related violence since the government stepped up its offensive against cartels in late 2006, the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reported.

As recently reported, Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists' work and news organizations are facing hard challenges for the risks run in reporting the violence and the war triggered by drug cartels.

Many news media outlets have signed the agreement promising not to glorify drug traffickers, publish cartel propaganda messages or reveal information that could endanger police operations, AP reported.

The 10-point accord defends the media's right to criticise Mexican government policy and actions in the drugs conflict and promised joint action to protect journalists' safety, BBC News said.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-25 16:32

There are times when it seems like a movie.

"Tell as few people as possible where you are staying and what your plans are.
Have a plan for how you will be getting out of the area if something goes wrong, and review it hourly. Know the roads in and out of the places you go to.
You must be extraordinarily deceptive. Arrive early for appointments to see if there are suspicious people lurking about the location.
Be as inconspicuous as possible, almost chameleon-like. Nothing says reporter like a polo shirt, baseball cap, khaki pants, and a press pass dangling from a lanyard around your neck. Try to blend in with the population."

This is just some of the advice that Mike O'Connor, a veteran war correspondent and representative in Mexico for the Committee to Protect Journalists, gave to reporters going into Mexico.

Even it sometimes resembles the stuff we see in films, reporting on drug wars and other narcotics-related violence in Mexico is a war in itself, as Joseph J. Kolb reported on Editor & Publisher.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-08 16:24

Kabul Weekly, one of the few independent newspapers in Afghanistan, has had to close its doors, seemingly as a result of its determination to practice its right to free speech. The weekly's editor, Mohammad Faheem Dashty, claims that the severe lack of funding that has forced the closure is politically motivated.

According to The Guardian, advertising was pulled from Kabul Weekly during the '09 presidential election of Karzai because of a front-page article that ran claiming the candidate appeared to be weak after allegedly losing the support of Afghanistan's western backers. Further, the weekly's lack of funding also stems from the pulling of advertising in response to the same issue by the country's biggest companies, who were financing Karzai's campaign to eventually make more money back through legal and illegal government contracts after he won.

Author

Ashley Stepanek

Date

2011-03-03 15:15

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