“[T]he tension between technology and outright repression – the availability of satellite television, the use of the internet as impetus for growth and economic modernization – has rendered obsolete the old methods of press control and suppression of information such as media nationalization and overt censorship.
“In China, which now has more than a quarter billion online users, self-censorship is enforced through government rules and regulations that guide Internet service providers about what news can be posted and who can post it (…) In every country following the Chinese model, internet access has been severely restricted or the plug pulled entirely during periods of potential social unrest.”
While the US’ ranking in terms of imprisoned journalists is low, the country’s actions have ‘a disproportionate impact’ on the rest of the world. With a new administration comes new hope for global press freedom, Bernstein adds.
“President Barack Obama must recognise that whenever the United States fails to uphold press freedom at home or on the battlefield, its actions ripple across the world. By scrupulously upholding press freedom at home, by ending the practice of open-ended detentions of journalists, and by investigating and learning from each instance in which the US military is responsible for the death of a journalist, Obama can send an unequivocal message about the country’s commitment to protecting press freedom. These policies might accelerate declines in the numbers of journalists killed and imprisoned. They will certainly make it much harder for governments worldwide to justify repressive policies by citing the actions of the United States.”
Further to reports today, that Emap is to make content from its Inform titles (which include Health Service Journal, Retail Week and its Drapers brands) free online, we have been told that is not really news. In fact, all the sites have been made free over the last few months.
“All new content created on Emap Inform sites is now free to air,” Conor Dignam, Emap’s digital director, told Journalism.co.uk.
“Some of our older archives remain behind either subs or registration barriers, but they too will go free overtime. We’re also moving all Emap Inform brands to a new CMS and redesigning all of the websites.
“This is a reflection of what we see as a different relationship with print and online users. There may be some content that remains behind barriers on some of the brands, but for the most part we are looking at our online content being free to air,” Dignam said.
“The editors here have welcomed that move which is putting more content in front of their audiences and bringing more relevant people to their sites.”
On Guardian.co.uk’s Inside Blog, Paul Carvill describes the geolocating process: reporters add their latitude and longitude to their article or blog post, and their location will appear in the RSS feed, which in turn can be fed into a Google map using a java script.
Online users can type in their postcode to find out what is being reported in their area, or alternatively click on an area of the map to source information from another location.