Date

Thu - 23.11.2017


press law

Legal experts and human rights advocates have raised questions about the state of international laws protecting journalists and their sources in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal and the fallout from WikiLeaks publication of classified documents

Speaking at the UNESCO conference The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World, Jane Kirtley, director at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, stated that she was "very nervous" about a number of cases in the United States, which she saw as laying a ground work for greater limits being placed on freedom.

Among the factors that caused her concern were the lack of a federal shield law to protect journalistic sources in the United States, and the recent seizure of the Mega Uploads domain name, despite the fact that it was outside of US jurisdiction.

Agnès Callamard, executive director of Article 19, likewise criticised the US government's reaction to the embassy cable leaks, calling some of the initial reactions reminiscent of the "McCarthy era".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-16 18:11

How can a country make sure that its press behaves responsibly? Government regulation compromises freedom of speech. Self-regulation can't always be trusted, as revelations about the unethical and illegal practices from parts of the British press, which continue to be discussed by the Leveson inquiry, prove.

Now the UK culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt and the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke are advocating a third way: a powerful independent regulatory body.

Speaking at a parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, part of an inquiry that was launched to deal with controversy over super-injunctions, Hunt stated: "I think that it is clear that nobody wants statutory regulation of the press" and said that such regulation would be "completely the wrong direction to go".

Clarke was equally vocal in his opposition to direct government regulation of news organizations, maintaining: "no one has so far made a clear case for a new law."

But Hunt also was suspicious self-regulation from the press, noting "self-regulation is very often characterised as something which is very similar to the current system and clearly some very significant failings have emerged on that."

The third way that Hunt suggests is "industry-led independent regulation". He stated that the news industry should "come up with a structure that will have [widespread] confidence and has proper sanction-making powers." In other words, an enhanced and independent PCC.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-17 16:14

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 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

Yeman's Minister of Information, Hassan Al-Lawzi has denied a government ban on newspapers, saying the titles disappeared for other reasons, Yemen Times reported.

The government recently passed a measure to limit media's infractions of press law. The Ministry has also openly warned newspaper publishers that they would be responsible for any violations of this law.

Yeman's press laws allow governmental restrictions on publishing which are not clearly defined and therefore open to interpretation.

Al-Lawzi's statement was followed by countrywide and international protests, where demonstraters spoke out against the confiscation and blocking of news sources which occured after media coverage of uproar and dissent in Southern Yeman.

Human Rights and journalists' organizations, such as The Commitee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), have asked the Yemani president to repeal the measure and restore freedom to the country.

In an appeal to the president, the CPJ encouraged him to "put an immediate end to these attacks, order for the Ministry of Information to drop pending harassing lawsuits filed against the media, and order the release of detained journalists and bloggers without delay."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-28 13:35

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