Date

Sat - 18.11.2017


press freedom

The road which lies ahead for the Bhutan Times just got tougher.

Three weeks ago, the country's only publicly-traded publisher changed hands as it faced a loss of Nu 5.39 million (US$115,790) South Asia Media reported Saturday. Then, along with new chairman and CEO Wancha Sangey, the newspaper secured written pledges from all employees to do their best to help bring the newspaper back from the economic brink. Now, half of those same employees abandoned ship Friday, citing irreconcilable differences over how much editorial control management should reasonably be permitted to exert for the sake of commerce.

Sangey views the dispute as centering instead on issues of defamation and a plot to bankrupt the company. "Since I joined, I made one request to them that, while freedom of speech is very important, we shouldn't forget that we're Bhutanese and that you can slur a ministry if it's wrong but not Bhutan as a nation."

Seven former journalists signed a rebuttal to Sangey's charges in a letter to the editor published by Bhutan Today. Concurrently, Bhutan Today's managing director, Tenzin Dorji, denounced the resignations as immoral, adding that he had no intention of hiring them to his sole proprietor publication.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-10-27 15:05

Fans of a British daily beat back a legal gag that prevents media from reporting a question raised in parliament by firing up their social-networking associations, Sky News reported today.

Writing on Twitter, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger thanked fellow users for their "fantastic support," adding that this was a "[g]reat victory for free speech," according to in the news. The issue sought to be suppressed related to the oil company Trafigura. Twitter complaints brought the censorship attempt to a sudden standstill.
The law firm at the centre of the unprecedented attempt to prevent the Guardian reporting parliamentary proceedings will be reported to the Law Society, according to an article in the Guardian.

Parliamentarian Peter Bottomley made clear his intention to seek a sanction against Carter Ruck during the prime minister's question time this afternoon, The Argus reported today.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-10-14 16:27

The future of one of China's best-selling investigative magazines is at stake in an increasingly public battle for control that pits its envelope-pushing editor against the Chinese government, Reuters reported Tuesday. Caijing magazine, the mainland's most influential and profitable business publication, has experienced a mass exodus of reporters and editors, according to the China Economic Review.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-10-13 18:42

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch today told the Chinese government it should follow India's example and open its media market up to outside competition, The Times of India reported.

Murdoch told the first World Media Summit in Beijing that India's opening up its market to foreign competitors served as a creative and financial catalyst, and China should learn from this example.

"The digital renaissance offers China an opportunity to exercise leadership," Murdoch said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Saying the government could open the country's "digital door," Murdoch alluded to China's "open door" policy in the 1970s, which led to economic reforms, the WSJ reported.

President Hu Jintao, meanwhile, told the world's media executives they should promote "true, correct, comprehensive and objective" news, according to The Age.

Some observers said the event "more closely resembles tribute rituals of the Chinese imperial court, as well as the modern-day functions and structures of the Communist Party," The Age reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-10-09 22:24

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's scandals stemming from his alleged involvement with prostitutes began earlier this year. And since his wife demanded a divorce in a newspaper article in early May, newspapers are facing threats and costly legal battles, Bloomberg News reported today. And although the scandals are helping newspaper sales, the boost is short term.

"Berlusconi is intimidating journalists with lawyers inside and outside the country," Stephan Russ Mohl, director of the European Journalism Observatory and professor of journalism and media management at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, told Bloomberg.

La Repubblica, Italy's most read daily, is being sued by Berlusconi and is now promoting a petition to support press freedom. So far, about 445,000 people have signed, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Enzo Mauro, the editor-in-chief of La Repubblica, likens the situation to attacks on the American press during the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon, according to a press release, out today, by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

The release continues:

"Like the American journalists, our journalists were doing their work and were publishing information that had to be published," said Mauro, speaking at a World Editors Forum conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-10-02 15:00

Two weeks ahead of Sudan's first elections in more than 20 years, President Omar al-Bashir ordered an immediate stop to any practices of state censorship of media, Reuters reported Monday.

The announcement, carried by the official Suna news agency, was cautiously welcomed by editors who have received similar to promises from the government in the past. However, they said they still believe they will be pressured when it comes to "sensitive stories," according to an Al Jazeera report.
Sudan has around 30 newspapers in both English and Arabic, representing a broad range of political views. However, a number of these titles have been subjected to broad state intervention when looking to print difficult issues.

In June the government had guaranteed the "freedom of the press" in a new law, but newspapers have continued to be subjected to restrictions on their abilities, Al Jazeera reported. These included nightly visits from state security officers to oversee and often alter or remove stories before they reached the public.

The editors Reuters spoke to said titles have been forced to close after having entire print-runs seized by authorities, especially when the articles addressed difficult issues within Sudan.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:19

The rise of digital around the world won't hurt print in China, where press freedom is scarce, but state-run newspapers have continued to succeed, due to government ownership and media monopolies, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported today.

The largest newspaper in China, the government owned People's Daily, prints 2.8 million copies per day. The newspaper derives its main revenue from subscriptions and big business advertising, many of which are also state owned.

In a country where the press and many advertisers are run by the government, it's not hard to see why the state is keeping itself in business. Editors at People's Daily in Beijing told visiting Filipino journalists that the paper does not fear the growth of online sources of news. The editors stressed that financially, the newspapers are self-supporting and ideologically, the Chinese people are reliant on the government papers for news.

The editors said they believe their monopolized sources have readers committed to newspapers and cautious of blogs and online news, according to the Inquirer.

The People's Daily publishing group has 30 branches across the country as well as bureaux overseas. The group also publishes two English-language newspapers, China Daily and the Global Times. Each of the English language papers publishes three pages of international news, drawn from Hsinhua, the national news agency, and The Associated Press.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:14

Independent Kazakh newspapers are faced with a temporary stop to printing as their major printing press has been closed in order to be tax probed, the Taiwan News reported Friday.

Authorities raided and closed the Kometa-S printing press earlier this week under the premise of tax evasion. The Kometa-S plant prints the Independent newspaper Respublika, and the publications for the Azat and Alga opposition movements. All printing has been postponed while the investigation proceeds. Respublika labelled the raid an act of intimidation to force the papers closure.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-25 18:24

An organisation devoted to maintaining freedom of the press handed out several thousand euro over the course of the summer to provide for the basic needs of independent journalists and their families.

Several of the journalists receiving the grants from Reporters Without Borders are no longer reporting news from the country of their respective persecution - with some living in exile while others had been imprisoned, according to IFEX. The connection between the fiscal crisis of Western media and the dire need of the journalists in developing or war-torn countries, if any, was not made apparent by the organisation's grant announcement.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-24 16:34

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has accused Grupo Clarin of biased reporting and is now backing reforms she says will help modernise the media industry. However, other groups have said her goal is to cripple Clarin, Argentina's largest media company and publisher of the daily newspaper Clarin, the BBC reported Friday.

On Thursday, more than 200 tax inspectors searched the Clarin newspaper's Buenos Aires offices. Officials dubbed the raid "routine," while the newspaper said it was "harassment" from the government.

"There are no more doubts about what the bill's aims are. It's meant to damage an economic group and not to help citizens," Deputy Julian Obiglio, head of the center-left PRO party in the lower house, said in a statement, according to Momento 24.

Grupo Clarin spokesman Martin Etchevers told a local TV station that the raid made it clear Clarin is being targeted, saying "this kind of inspection has never occurred in the history of Clarin," Momento 24 reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-11 22:06

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