WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 18.04.2014


media law

Grupo Clarín, the publisher of Argentina’s most widely read daily newspaper and the largest media conglomerate in the country, once enjoyed a favourable relationship with the government. Now, the two are engaged in a public tussle in which each side claims that the other poses a threat to freedom of expression: the administration of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accuses Clarín of having a monopolistic stranglehold over the country’s media, and the news conglomerate charges the government with striving to stifle dissenting voices.

The conflict’s focal point is the controversial “Media Law,” also known as the Audiovisual Communication Services Act (No 26.522), passed by Argentina’s Congress in October 2009. Article 45 of this law limits the number of broadcasting licenses that any media organisation can hold, and Article 161 establishes a procedure to divest incompliant companies of their holdings. Proponents call it a move to increase media plurality; detractors consider the measure a government ploy to dismantle its most vocal critic.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-11-21 19:03

The US District Court of Nevada ruled Friday, March 9 that online political forum Democratic Underground did not violate copyright law when one of its users posted an excerpt from a Las Vegas Review-Journal article to prompt political discussion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported.

Plaintiff and counterdefendant Righthaven LLC alleged that it owned the copyright of the newspaper article, and that defendants and counterclaimants Democratic Underground and David Allen infringed upon that copyright, according to a declaratory statement released by the court.

The court ruled that the defendants committed “no volitional act giving rise to a claim for direct copyright infringement” and that “the act of posting this five-sentence excerpt of a fifty-sentence news article on a political discussion forum is a fair use pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 107, and that the fair use doctrine provides a complete defense to the claim of copyright infringement from which this suit arose,” the statement said.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-14 16:37

The news media is a pillar of democracy: it informs citizens about issues in the public interest and acts as a watchdog over the powers that be. Consequently, journalism plays a significant role in emerging democracies.

To play this role effectively, however, news media need to stand out as credible and respected sources, and to be credible they need to be accountable. As highlighted in Tunis at the WAN-IFRA Arab Free Press Forum, after years of propaganda, it is difficult for newly-free publications to establish themselves as trustworthy sources of news, particularly when facing competition from blogs and social media.

Ethics are a cornerstone for a credible and professional news media environment. As reported by BusinessGhana, media practitioners and associations in the Cote d'Ivoire recently adopted a new code of ethics for journalists at a forum in Abidjan.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-02-29 19:06

What's the difference between a journalist and a blogger?

Once upon a time, this might have just been a subject to get people riled up on Twitter. Yet now it has also become a more serious legal question in the wake of the conviction of blogger Crystal Cox for defamation.

Cox, who blogs about law, industry, finance and corruption was convicted for defaming the investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in this post. Cox accuses the firm's co-founder Kevin Padrick or being a "a Thug, Thief and a Liar" and writes that he is guilty of bankruptcy fraud.

The case took place in Portland, Oregon, where the U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez ruled against Cox and awarded $2.5 million to Obsidian Finance Group.

The controversial element was not so much that Cox lost her case as the judge's reasoning behind his decision. Cox argued that the basis for her post was an anonymous whistleblower, and maintained that she was unable to prove the factual basis of her writing without revealing her source.

Oregon state has a media shield law, protecting journalists from being forced by the judiciary to divulge their sources. Yet, controversially, the judge ruled:

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-12-09 11:27

Already saddled with an over-active reputation for "libel tourism," the U.K. is now also wrestling with its own domestic issue on the subject: whether suspects in a crime should be named in the media before they are proven guilty in a court of law.

This comes on the coattails of a murder case in the U.K. in which Chris Jeffries, identified by The Daily Mail as a "nutty professor with a blue rinse," was named aggressively throughout British media as being the main suspect with strong suggestion that he was the actual killer.

Why the strong suggestion? Mainly, it seems, because he's a weirdo.

The Independent quotes "strange ... lewd ... creepy ... Peeping Tom ... obsessed by death" as "just some of the words used by the populist press to describe Chris Jefferies." While Jeffries was arrested late last year in connection to the murder of his tenant, Joanna Yeates, he was released without charge, and another individual has since been charged.

Author

Ashley Stepanek

Date

2011-02-02 14:08

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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