Date

Thu - 23.11.2017


government

The U.S. government and others will use the latest WikiLeaks release "as reason for secrecy for many years to come," believes Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the Associated Press. It may take some time for the situation to change, but governments will try to plug what leaks they can and "lock things down," she said. She was speaking at the Nieman Lab event "From Watergate to Wikileaks: Secrecy and Journalism in the New Media Age."

All governments want to keep secrets from the public, she said, sometimes for the right reasons, but sometimes not. "Governments too often stretch the national security rationale well beyond reason," she continued, and there is a lot of information that is 'classified' that has little reason to be so. She pointed out that the US government spends $9 billion a year on keeping information secret. The U.S. is far from being alone in this practice, Carroll said: and threats against journalists for reporting on what the government wants to keep secret is "an all too familiar sad story in too many countries."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-12-17 15:29

All newspapers, television channels and radio stations owned by members of the Russian government will be put up for sale, according to presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich, Polit.ru reported today.

The announcement comes following a speech given by President Dmitry Medvedev at the Federal Assembly of Russia, during which he outlined that public figures as such should not be the owners of "factories, newspapers, steamships," Trud.ru wrote. He said official bodies should only be involved with fields that encourage quality performance of duties, suggesting that all other industries should be privatised.

Dvorovich: Image via Popnano

"Right now, it's a pointless waste of time. They are to be sold, but the date hasn't been established yet," Dvorkovich said, Interfax.ru informed.

Trud.ru pointed out that around 80 percent of regional press is currently owned by the corresponding local authorities. Dvorkovich said he believes it is necessary to focus on nurturing the concept of the Russian media as an independent source of information, News.Bcm notified.

Another possible reason for wanting to sell? Running media companies is an expensive undertaking.

Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2010-11-30 19:39

Gérard Proust, head of the National Union of Press Distributors (UNDP) in France, has called on the government to provide €4,000 in transitional aid to newspaper sales merchants, he mentioned in an interview with Le Figaro last week. The same figure was provided last year, but as the number of newsstands plunges, newspaper sales outlets may be losing hope in the industry.

"Transitional aid is not enough. I am officially calling on the State to continue its effort. I am aware of the financial obligations of the state," Proust said. "But I think that today it is necessary to send a strong signal to our sector by renewing the aid this year." Even though other markets, such as books, may show positive figures, copy sales of the press sector continue to dwindle. However, the jump in distribution and audience numbers indicate that there is a public need towards information and that consumers are still interested in paid print content, Proust explains.

Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2010-09-28 00:02

The South African government is debating the role of the press and government control over keeping federal information secret after the country's ruling political party, the African National Congress, has backed proposals to tighten controls on the media, Reuters Africa reported yesterday.

The proposed tribunal would control print media in order to "enhance accountability and improve reporting," a senior ruling party official said, the article explained. The Media Appeals Tribunal would investigate complaints against print media, and decide on punishments when it deems irresponsible reporting has taken place, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Image: ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu. Photo via Times Live

Media groups have denounced the ANC's proposition, saying the tribunal is an attempt by the party to stop investigative reporters who expose corruption in the one-party ruled government, according to Reuters.

Over the weekend, 37 newspapers voiced their dismay over the ANC "clampdown" at an event called the "Auckland Park Declaration," iol.co.za reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-08-11 15:57

Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress may not agree on much, but in a rare event there was bipartisan support on a libel tourism bill, also know as The SPEECH Act (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage). If signed into law, the United States government would no longer uphold judgments of defamation abroad that conflict with the First Amendment, which upholds freedom of speech. This more liberal version of the libel tourism law calls into question the UK's more rigid stance on the issue.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-07-29 17:03

Four Bolivian organisations, which represent newspapers, journalists and editors, have requested the derogation of the recently approved electoral law as it violates the Constitution and threats freedom of speech, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reported yesterday.

The law, signed on June 30 by President Evo Morales, does not allow candidates to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal to give interviews and limits media from publishing electoral polls. According to EFE, it also prohibits the publication of partial results and documents that have not been approved by the Electoral Power.

The National Press Association, the National Journalist Association of Bolivia, the Bolivian Association of Radios and La Paz Association of Journalists said in a joint press release that they only recognise press law approved in 1925 and rejected governmental pressure towards media and journalists.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-28 04:12

The Italian Senate yesterday approved a controversial €25 billion austerity programme, which includes cuts to newspapers' funding budgets, The Financial Times reported.

The economic maneuver was sent to the lower house and is expected to be voted before the summer recess on July 29, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. If approved, dailies like Il Manifesto and Carta could shut down as they rely heavily on public funds, Etcetera explained.

Il Manifesto is one of the dailies affected by the budget cuts

Two days ago, journalists from Il Manifesto, supported by the Roman Press Association, protested against the possible budget cuts in front of Congress.

"With [these] cuts, Berlusconi wants to take out a series of right and left wing newspapers," Il Manifesto's editor-in-chief Norma Rangeri said, according to Il Corriere della Sera. The maneuver, she added, would affect 90 publications and 4,500 workers.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-16 17:31

In an effort to cut down on "libel tourism" and better protect freedom of speech for media outlets and those working in the research sector, the UK government will review its laws as part of a libel reform campaign, MediaGuardian reported today.

The government is looking to introduce a bill soon, and today the Ministry of Justice announced it will conduct a consultation over the summer, and put a draft defamation bill before Parliament early next year, according to the Press Association.

"In reviewing the law we want to focus on ensuring that freedom of speech and academic debate are protected and a fair balance is struck between freedom of expression and the protection of reputation," Justice Minister Lord McNally said, according to the PA article published by the Independent. "We want to ensure that the right balance is achieved so people who have been defamed are able to take action to protect their reputation but so that freedom of speech is not unjustifiably impeded."

Journalists, academics and people in the scientific community who want to write reports that may be viewed as unfavourable to their subjects or third parties are usually subjected to threats from accusers who know the current libel laws are on their side, as the burden of proof rests on the defendant.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-07-10 02:42

Newspapers have not only lost significant advertising revenue in the last couple of years, they have also been losing government support in the form of subsidies in the last forty years, concludes a new study by the University of Southern California.

According to Poynter, a new study of historic subsidies and emerging trends tracks various tax breaks, reductions in postal subsidies first enacted in 1792, and upcoming cutbacks in public notices that government regulations have traditionally forced into American newspapers. The study provides valuable insight, if not clear-cut recommendations for print media to follow, about the thorny issue of government funding for media.

For more on this topic, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-29 20:14

The French government is considering subsidies for France's number one press distribution company Presstalis, Le Figaro reported.

French Prime Minister François Fillon has assigned the delicate task to Inspector-General of Finances Bruno Mettling. He will consider the conditions under which exceptional state support could be granted. The distribution company is in serious financial difficulty. This is partly due to the overheads for distribution of the national daily press, which has been structurally in deficit for several years, and partly because of the decline in newspaper sales. The group lost around €15 million in 2009.

For more on this story, visit our sister site, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-19 18:53

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