Date

Sat - 18.11.2017


press freedom

A committee representing U.S. media groups is calling on South African President Jacob Zuma to end legislative proposals they say would "severely restrict" media in the country, Times Live reported yesterday.

"We call on you as the head of state and leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to ensure that such proposals are either amended in line with constitutional safeguards for freedom of the press and access to information, or withdrawn altogether in the interest of preserving the transparency, accountability, and democracy gained after apartheid," the Committee to Protect Journalists wrote. The committee includes The New York Times, NBC News, the Washington Post and others.

Image: blackchristiannews.com
Over the weekend, Zuma, who has been the subject of "embarrassing stories about his private life," announced that the tribunal would help to defend the rights of citizens, the Financial Times reported. In addition, several of Zuma's ministers have been criticised by the press for using taxpayer money to "fund luxurious lifestyles."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-08-17 21:34

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

Rwanda's regulatory body has suspended 30 media organisations for not meeting requirements set by the new media law, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounced on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported.

"With just a week to go to a presidential election on 9 August, the Rwandan authorities are openly flouting the rules of the democratic game," the organisation stated in a press release. Last week, the Media High Council published a list of 22 newspapers and 19 TV and radio stations that "meet the requirements of the law and therefore [are] legally recognized in Rwanda," the authorities said in a statement, allAfrica.com quoted.

Photo: Umuseso and Umuvugizi are among the banned newspapers
Under the law approved in August 2009, all media should be registered with the council, despite having been approved by the regulatory body in previous years. It also imposed the capital necessary to open new outlets and granted the council the power to suspend newspapers and impose criminal penalties on journalists.

Now, those excluded from the list - including leading dailies like Umuseso, Umuvugizi and Umurabayo - are not allowed to publish information.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-08-04 17:24

Azerbaijan's Press Council today published its newest list of "racketeer" publications, which includes 77 newspapers and journals that the group says have violated the country's Journalists' Professional Behavior Rules, the Azerbaijan Press Agency reported.

"This list is a tool for public condemnation of the press, which ignore the professional principles, publish materials, affecting the honor and dignity of people, slander, and commit other such illegal actions," the chairman of the Press Council Aflutun Amashov said, Trend News Agency quoted.

"It envisages not legal, but public responsibility, and publishing the 'black list' aims to form society's reaction to the media of bad tendency," he said while remembering that the named publications are subject to investigation.

Some of the newspapers on the list, which includes the names of the editor-in-chief and the founder of each publication, are Nota, Mufatish, Khalg Nazareti, Ganun ve Gercheklik, Ideal Azerbaijan, Ideal and Taran, News.az revealed.

So far, the largest list that the Press Council has published was presented last year and it included 95 newspapers.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-08-03 19:55

The Italian government has extended its provision within the Media and Wiretapping Bill, "obbligo di rettifica", or rectification obligation, a law dating back to 1948 that requires newspapers or anyone "responsible for informative websites" to publish corrections, and passed a new law aimed at restraining online freedom of speech under the Berlusconi leadership, TheInquirer.net reported.

This law requires Italian bloggers, podcasters and users of social networking sites like Facebook to rectify "incorrect facts" published, and post corrections within 48 hours of receipt of complaint. Any failure to abide by the law within the timeline provided would result in the imposition of a fine of up to €25,000 to be paid by the author or publisher.

Image: Italian President Berlusconi
The European Digital Rights (EDRI), a pan-European coalition of online civil liberties advocacy organisations, and Italian journalists who call this bill "authoritarian" warn that it might darken much of the Italian cyberspace comprising of small-scale bloggers, website owners and users who comment on discussion pages, as they will be left with little or no time to deal with complaint requests and publish corrections within the time span allotted, EUObserver.com reported today.

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-07-30 20:14

A month after Fiji's military regime gave News Limited 90 days to sell The Fiji Times to a local or close it, PricewaterhouseCoopers is calling for expressions of interest from parties wanting to acquire the daily, The New Zealand Herald reported today.

"Interested parties must be able to provide evidence of their ability to meet the requirements of the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 and demonstrate financial capacity to make this acquisition," said PWC, which was hired two weeks ago by Rupert Murdoch's company to value the newspaper, The Fiji Times quoted.

After an evaluation, selected candidates will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and present non-biding offers.

"Following an assessment of the indicative offers, a limited number of prospective purchasers will be shortlisted and allowed time to conduct their due diligence," the accounting firm explained.

According to The Fiji Times, News Limited will accept offers until August 9.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-30 16:31

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

Fijian ruler Frank Bainimarama said he has no regrets about the possible closure of The Fiji Times, which is own by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, The Australian reported.

In June, under a decree demanding media outlets to be 90 percent owned by Fijians citizens, the government gave The Fiji Times three months to change its ownership or close. Since 2006, when Bainimarama led a military coup, the media has been struggling as the government has tightened controls and censorship.

"The reasons have been explained in the media decree... I guess, like everything else, people need to toe the line, including The Fiji Times," Bainimarama said to The Australian while explaining that the measures will "bring about transparency to the media."

He also said the newspaper's management and News Limited should be held accountable for the loss of jobs because they knew about the decree before it came into force and have done nothing to comply with it.

According to Fiji's Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, there will be no amendments to the decree and no extensions will be given, FijiVillage.com informed.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-22 15:29

The Malaysian authorities announced Thursday to issue a new permit to an Islamic opposition party newspaper. The fate of other two anti-government publications, however, is still in suspense, The Canadian Press reported.

The government refused to renew licenses for these papers, accusing them of violating laws and publishing false information. However, opposition leaders retorted that it was a crackdown on free speech, AFP reported.

The Home Ministry Thursday renewed the license of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party's newspaper, the "Harakah" daily, after it promised to obey government guidelines.

Officials of the paper confirmed it has received a new permit after the old one expired one week ago, but only under strict rules, AFP reported.

The home ministry had ordered the title to be sold only at party headquarters and read only by party members, which total one million nationwide, according to Editor-in-chief Ahmad Lutfi Othman.

All publications in Malaysia require permits, which need to be extended annually, The Canadian Press reported.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-07-16 03:34

News Limited has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to value The Fiji Times for a possible sale, The Australian reported yesterday. This move comes after the June 28 order from Fiji's government that Rupert Murdoch's company must sell the publication to a local or close it entirely.

News Ltd. does not want to sell the newspaper; but because the Fijian government is ordering the sale, PwC will step in to value the business and then give advise on potential buyers. Heading the valuation team will be Jenny Seeto, based in Fiji.

"The environment is difficult but given the decree is clearly designed to force us to sell and pull out of Fiji within three months, we need to actively investigate all our options," John Hartigan, chairman and CEO of News Ltd., told The Australian.

Under the Media Industry Development Decree that went into effect June 28, media outlets must be 90 percent owned by Fijian citizens that reside in the country. Since 2006, when Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama led a military coup, the media has been struggling as the government has tightened controls and censorship.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-07-14 19:40

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