Date

Mon - 20.11.2017


press freedom

For the first time in 19 years, the Turkmen government will allow the establishment of private newspapers, the BBC reported.

"Proposals for the founding of private newspapers and magazines can be prepared and work on this matter can be accelerated," President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Friday, Radio Free Europe quoted.

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is in favour of independent media. Photo: United Natios via Radio Free Europe
He invited the Union of Private Industrialists and Entrepreneurs to take the lead by creating their own publications so they could share their successful business stories. "It was unclear whether that meant that only business or trade publications would be allowed," The New York Times reported.

The Central Asian country is the only post-Soviet nation without privately owned media. According to Agence France Press, "there are five television channels, 25 newspapers, 15 magazines and one news agency, all of them state-owned."

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-12 20:20

The Malaysian government has suspended the publication of Suara Keadilan, the main opposition newspaper, for "publishing false news that could incite public unrest,"
The Associated Press reported
.

The weekly newspaper, directed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Keadilan party, last month ran a front-page report revealing that the Federal Land Development Authority was bankrupt, the news site Free Malaysia Today noted.
Three days ago, the Home Ministry gave Suara Keadilan a seven-day deadline to explain why it had published the story. However, yesterday, after reviewing the newspaper's answer, the authorities decided not to renew the paper's publishing permit, which expired Wednesday.

"We will only consider the newspaper's application to renew its permit after we have received satisfactory explanation from its management," the ministry said in a statement, quoted by The Star.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-07-02 17:06

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is angry with the Italian press for their news coverage during the G8 and G20 summits in Canada.

"Newspapers misinform. Readers should do a strike to teach those who write not to mock them," Berlusconi said yesterday at his arrival to Sao Paolo, where he is scheduled to meet with Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, La Reppublica reported.

The Prime Minister said the accounts of the meetings published by the newspapers where "the exact opposite of the reality." "They are a mockery of the readers with a misinformation that has been going on for several days, from several months to date and it is inconceivable," quoted Il Sole 24 Ore.

Berlusconi's accusations coincided with press protests against his intention to approve a controversial law that would curb the use of wiretaps by the police. If passed, newspapers that publish transcripts of wiretapped conversations would face heavy fines.

According to the Global Post, Italian journalists and newspaper editors have called a strike for July 9, "while the CEO of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky Italy said he is 'ready to go to jail' if the new rules are approved."

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-06-29 23:48

Fiji's military regime has given The Fiji Times, which is own by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, three months to change its ownership or close.

The newspaper reported on its website that, under the Media Industry Development Decree that came into effect today, media outlets must be 90 percent owned by Fijian citizens that reside in the country.

"Any media organization which fails to comply with this requirement shall cease to operate as a media organization," said the head of the attorney general's office, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, as he announced the measures that also allow the regime to censor articles deemed threats to national security.

In a press conference, the attorney general pointed to the News Limited newspaper as the only media that needs to comply with the ownership requirement, explained The Fiji Times.

However, in an interview with Radio Australia, Sayed-Khaiyum said the measures do not force Murdoch's company to close the newspaper as it has several options to consider.

"One of the major ones, obviously, [is that] they can sell down the foreign content to local owners," he said.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-06-29 00:04

Media reform legislation that would give the government a new authority over media outlets is set to be voted on by Hungary's parliament next week, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday. If signed into law, the legislation would completely change the way the media is governed through creation of a Media Council.

The new council "would operate within a new authority created through the fusion of the national radio and television authority (ORTT) and the telecom authority (NHH), and its head would be appointed by the prime minister. The four other members are to be appointed by a parliamentary committee, through a two-thirds majority vote in the absence of consensus, paving the way for ruling party control of the body," a report by the International Press Institute explains. "Under the new legislation, officials would also have an automatic right of response to reports they do not like."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is in favour of the legislation. Photo: AFP via Hurriyet

Another section of the legislative package related to print media and the Internet will be voted on in the autumn.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-06-25 18:55

Israel's ministerial legislative committee is scheduled to vote on a bill this week that, if passed, would only allow newspapers to be published for free for one year, Newspaper Innovation reported. "...it is clear that the bill is aimed at Israel Today, which is considered to be very close to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu," the report stated.

The proposal, put forth by MK Marina Solodkin, is called "Prohibition on Distributing Newspapers Free." The bill's objective is to block Israel Today's distribution.

Israel Today is owned by Sheldon Adelson, "a very close associate" of the prime minister and his wife, Globes Online reported. Its print run has continued to increase from "255,000 copies last week to 279,000 copies on Sunday, to 291,000 copies on Monday, and to 301,000 copies on Tuesday and Wednesday," the article stated.

The freesheet is distributed in trains and other commuter locations.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-05-31 16:35

Zimbabwe is celebrating a victory for press freedom, as the government decides to issue licenses to four new dailies, CNN reported. Those titles include the "Daily News," which was previously banned in 2002. These papers will be the first privately owned in the market in six years.

"This is very exciting and it's a huge time for Zimbabweans and it's an opportunity for change," Trevor Ncube, one of the most powerful publishers in southern Africa, talked about the approval of the newspaper license to CNN.

Photo: The Daily Maverick

"We're clearly in a period of transition and this newspaper will play a role to empower Zimbabweans," he added.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was formed in December 2009, in order to spearhead media reforms, such as licensing new press, radio and TV outlets, BBC News reported.

Currently, the market is dominated by state-run media, while the independent press faces severe restrictions.

"We are here to allow Zimbabweans access to media," according to Reuters news agency quoting ZMC's chairman Godfrey Majonga.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-05-28 17:20

Jamal Khashoggi, known for building Saudi Arabia's al-Watan into a voice for the country's progressives, has resigned as editor-in-chief of the newspaper, BBC News reported today. "There is speculation that Mr. Khashoggi had been forced to resign," as he had "clashed with the authorities before with articles on the religious police and women's rights," the article stated.

Many have speculated that Khashoggi's departure from al-Watan is a sign of what is to come for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East at large: a much less free press, and with it, a roadblock for the growth of media.

Photo: Agence France-Presse

al-Watan said Khashoggi resigned to pursue other personal plans, but several Arab news outlets reported he was "fired because of articles in al-Watan criticizing Saudi Arabia's conservative application of Islam and the religious police who enforce adherence to it," The Associated Press reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-05-17 20:31

After last year's disputed elections in Iran, social networking sites like Twitter helped protesters organise and also served as a way to send news, videos and photos out to the rest of the world, showing what was really happening in the country. Iranian security forces worked to stop people from using these sites to communicate, just as other countries, such as China, have done in the past and continue to do so.

Government censors are becoming more sophisticated, and this is where encryption software Haystack comes in.

Haystack was custom-made in San Francisco for Iran as the first anti-censorship technology licensed by the U.S. government for export to Iran, the Christian Science Monitor reported last month. First, it "provides high-grade encryption of data, similar to that used when accessing a bank Web site. It then hides that data inside other normal data streams and makes it look like normal Internet traffic itself," which makes the original data difficult to detect and stop."

According to the network, Haystack clients connect to its servers, "which in turn talk to Web sites on behalf of our users." The group's motto is "Good luck finding that needle."

However, if Haystack's methods are compromised, users' communications would be secure.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-05-10 18:49

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is calling on publications world-wide to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, by honouring journalists who are forced to flee their countries just for doing their jobs.

WAN-IFRA, which represents 18,000 newspapers, 15,000 online sites and more than 3,000 companies world-wide, is dedicating its 2010 World Press Freedom Day campaign to "Journalists in Exile", and has produced editorials, advertisements, political cartoons, interviews and other materials for publication in newspapers and other media on or around 3 May.

Newspapers wishing to view, download and publish the materials, free of charge, can find them at http://www.worldpressfreedomday.org.

The materials are offered in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian, but newspapers are encouraged to translate them into other languages as well.

Thousands of newspapers world-wide publish the WAN-IFRA materials on World Press Freedom Day each year.

"Despite the existence of rights enshrined by national and international conventions, journalists continue to find themselves in frequent peril for simply doing their jobs, as they strive to report the truth in the passionate belief that reporting what they see is the foundation of a healthy democracy," said Virginie Jouan, Executive Director of Press Freedom and Development Programmes for WAN-IFRA.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-04-20 18:40

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