Tag Archives: media freedom

Reporters Without Borders publishes alleged secret Chinese media directive

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published what it alleges to be a document issued to Chinese news organisations by the country’s Propaganda Department.

The directives in the document were reportedly delivered only via word of mouth to journalists at meetings where note-taking was banned.

The document (Chinese language) reportedly bans the coverage of a number of contentious issues in China, including: “the property market, rising prices, corruption, the demolition of housing and compulsory relocation, residence permits, the absence of social security, inadequate transport during the Chinese New Year and popular discontent that finds expression in anti-government demonstrations.”

RSF has accused the Chinese Propaganda Department of placing the country’s media within an “editorial straitjacket”.

Nobody from RSF was available to comment on when, or from whom it obtained the document.

Nobody from the Chinese Embassy press office, London was available to comment on the report.

Full RSF post at this link.

New legislation threatens to restrict press freedom in South Africa

Concern is growing in South Africa over the passing of a piece of legislation that could, if passed into law, restrict freedom of the press in the country and jeopardise government transparency.

According to Iqbal Jassat for the Media Monitors Network, the African National Congress (ANC) is in the process of passing the Protection of Information Bill, which would allow “classification of information associated with commercial contracts entered into by government, state-owned enterprise and state entities”.

At the heart of the current debate are two significant developments: a new piece of legislature before parliament titled the Protection of Information Bill; and the disclosure by the ANC that a media tribunal, a system of state regulation is back on the agenda.

While the purpose of the bill is to replace apartheid-era secrets act with a democratic framework of information protection, a range of submissions warning of its draconian nature has raised serious concerns.

Full story at this link…

The Protection of Information Bill can be downloaded from: www.info.gov.za

Journalism Daily: Press freedom, the Guardian’s Joseph Harker and MyReporter.com

Journalism.co.uk is trialling a new service via the Editors’ Blog: a daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site.

We hope you’ll find it useful as a quick digest of what’s gone on during the day (similar to our e-newsletter) and to check that you haven’t missed a posting.

We’ll be testing it out for a couple of weeks, so you can subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

Let us know what you think – all feedback much appreciated.

News and features

Ed’s picks

Tip of the day


On the Editors’ Blog

@press_freedom: a new Twitter service from Journalism.co.uk

In December 2008, Journalism.co.uk launched a new Dipity Timeline to track international media and we watched it attract a considerable amount of interest. The idea is to bring together international journalism news and comment, focusing on issues which affect journalists’ freedom of speech. We’ve played around with it a bit and re-launched the timeline (so please make sure you update your bookmarks).

  • Twitter: now, as well as following the timeline, you can now follow @press_freedom on Twitter to get all the same updates you would find through the timeline.

It would be interesting to see if we (media and journalism reporters) could collaboratively track a breaking press freedom news story some point in the future, as the journalists did with the floods in Washington.

Please contact Judith (@jtownend on Twitter) or Laura (@lauraoliver on Twitter) at Journalism.co.uk with ideas for how to improve the service, or with suggestions for your own involvement.

Daily Nation: Kibaki’s dialogue on media law is ‘welcome’

Kenya’s Daily Nation welcomes President Kibaki’s intervention in the new media laws. The ‘media fraternity welcomes President Kibaki’s intervention in the ongoing dispute over the Kenya Communication (Amendment) Act 2008,’ the newspaper comments.

“The President initially ignored entreaties by the industry not to assent to legislation that would curtail media freedom. But it appears wiser counsel has prevailed.”

Full story...

Updating timelines – help us keep them representative and accurate

Today sees the first week of Journalism.co.uk putting its new timelines and maps to use – a way of flagging up and documenting important journalism events each day.

We’ve had some good feedback via email and other blogs so far and we’d encourage you to either directly help edit them yourselves, or email us with things you’d like to see added (judith or laura at journalism.co.uk)

The idea is to keep these up-to-date with varied sources, and as frequently as necessary, so we will have built up a good resource to look back on for story research, or other purposes. You can add locations, links, video and photographs to each event.

Dipity is proving a good tool so far, although has a few problems (for example, the automated WordPress RSS feed seems to have disappeared in one of them). We’ll follow up with some more thoughts on using Dipity in the new year.

So link them, use them, and add to them if you feel so inclined. We hope you enjoy and find them useful.

Journalism industry job losses tracked here.

International journalism media freedom tracked here.

NUJ release video showing police treatment of journalists

As reported in Press Gazette, the NUJ’s General Secretary, Jeremy Dear, used his appearance on Monday at the the TUC Congress Conference 2008 to call for a motion against the erosion of journalists’ civil liberties and media freedom in Britain.

In a follow-up, the NUJ yesterday released this video, ‘Press Freedom: Collateral Damage’ by Jason N Parkinson : nine minutes of film documenting the treatment of journalists by police.

The film highlights a number of incidents in which the NUJ feel the police unnecessarily obstructed reporters and photographers.

The NUJ motion identified the cases of Robin Ackroyd and Shiv Malik, who have both risked jail because of the legal requirement to reveal confidential information from sources. In his speech to the Congress, Dear also referred to Sally Murrer, a journalist who is facing criminal prosecution for receiving information from a police source.

“Journalism is facing grave threats in an age of intolerance,” Jeremy Dear said in the NUJ’s statement.  “Whilst on the streets dissent is being criminalized, independent journalism is being increasingly caught in the civil liberties clampdown,” he said.

Members of the TUC conference unanimously backed the NUJ’s motion on Monday. The NUJ statement, with more excerpts from Dear’s speech, can be read here.