Press freedom – The Backwaters Press http://thebackwaterspress.org/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 13:10:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://thebackwaterspress.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-34.png Press freedom – The Backwaters Press http://thebackwaterspress.org/ 32 32 UCI under fire over allegations of blocking freedom of the press by refusing accreditation to a journalist at the World Championships https://thebackwaterspress.org/uci-under-fire-over-allegations-of-blocking-freedom-of-the-press-by-refusing-accreditation-to-a-journalist-at-the-world-championships/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 13:10:30 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/uci-under-fire-over-allegations-of-blocking-freedom-of-the-press-by-refusing-accreditation-to-a-journalist-at-the-world-championships/ UCI President David Lappartient has faced tough questions over why a journalist who wrote critical investigative reporting was denied accreditation for the World Road Championships in Wollongong , in Australia. Ian Treloar examined the link between the governing body and an autocrat with an abysmal human rights record and a Russian billionaire under sanctions following […]]]>

UCI President David Lappartient has faced tough questions over why a journalist who wrote critical investigative reporting was denied accreditation for the World Road Championships in Wollongong , in Australia.

Ian Treloar examined the link between the governing body and an autocrat with an abysmal human rights record and a Russian billionaire under sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, stories that have drawn critical de Lappartient and formed the basis, Treloar suggests, of his inability to cover the unfolding event as a credentialed reporter.

Writing for Australia-based cycling website CyclingTips, Treloar was one of four colleagues to apply for accreditation and although his three colleagues were successful, his request was denied.

The UCI insists this is due to high demand from other media outlets, meaning it was necessary to enforce a rule limiting publications to three journalists.

However, the official line did not go well, with footage from the event’s press center showing empty offices and prompting Treloar to tell the Guardian it may be “an accumulation of a number of stories creating a perception in their minds that I am a troublemaker”.

In recent times Treloar investigative exhibits have examined Russia’s connection to the UCI after the invasion of Ukraine, including that Russian billionaire Igor Makarov remains on the UCI’s board despite sanctions. from Australia and Canada.

> The UCI defends its decision to honor the dictator of Turkmenistan

Treloar also examined the governing body’s relationship with Turkmen autocrat Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, as well as the operation of a UCI program to help evacuate cyclists from Afghanistan.

“I think I’m asking reasonable questions about the governance of sport,” he continued. “I’m sure the UCI thinks they’re a transparent organization and they govern responsibly, but if they’re blocking access, I wonder if that’s really the case.”

Speaking at a press conference, President Lappartient said the denial of accreditation was simply a matter of policy.

“Two points. The first is that this is exactly UCI policy for accreditations,” he said.

“It has been published, it’s three per newspaper and from what I understand CyclingTips already has three journalists. Each newspaper is here with three journalists, afterwards I have no specific comment to make. By the way, every newspaper is welcome, but this newspaper used its three credentials that we do for this event, so here we are.”

SBS Sports suggested that the policy outlined above may not be as strict as Lappartient claims, reporting that the Illawarra Mercury has nine members accredited to the event, and noted that the press room was “maybe be ten percent full at its busiest”.

Cycling journalists’ union Association Internationale des Journalistes du Cyclisme (AIJC) has raised concerns with the UCI, and its UK representative, Sahbh O’Shea, said she had never seen the rule of the three journalists applied.

“I spoke to them in person and expressed my displeasure that they were effectively restricting access to a journalist who published negative stories about them,” she said.

Speaking to SBS, Treloar editor Caley Fretz said the reasons given “do not hold water”.

“The whole situation is deeply disappointing, mean-spirited and unbecoming of the sport’s governing body. We are here as Australia’s largest cycling-focused publication to cover and promote the sport we love, but the behavior of the ‘UCI prevents us from doing exactly that,’ he said.

The UCI has since issued a statement echoing the words of its president on a quota of three journalists.

The UCI reserves the right to approve or deny accreditation through the online application process. Accreditation is limited to a maximum of three permanent media representatives for each media outlet (representatives holding a valid press card).

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WATCH: Blinken warns UN of threats to press freedom https://thebackwaterspress.org/watch-blinken-warns-un-of-threats-to-press-freedom/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 22:17:13 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/watch-blinken-warns-un-of-threats-to-press-freedom/ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned of dangers to press freedom as world leaders meet at the United Nations this week. Watch Blinken’s remarks in the player above. The real gathering of world leaders, known as the General Debate, begins Tuesday morning with the UN chief’s state of the world address to the […]]]>

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned of dangers to press freedom as world leaders meet at the United Nations this week.

Watch Blinken’s remarks in the player above.

The real gathering of world leaders, known as the General Debate, begins Tuesday morning with the UN chief’s state of the world address to the 77th session of the General Assembly which began on September 12.

Blinken said freedom of the press is the “bedrock of democracy”, and he warned it was threatened “by censorship, surveillance, restrictive laws, propaganda”.

“The work of the United Nations, the work of our own foreign policy and our diplomacy would be dramatically undermined in a world where freedom of expression, freedom of the press, is under threat.”

READ MORE: DNA of arrested official found at crime scene of slain journalist, police say

Nearly 150 presidents, prime ministers and monarchs are on the latest list of speakers at the UN, a very high number reflecting the importance of the meeting not only for presenting each country’s worldview, but also for private meetings. one-on-one and in groups where diplomats say much of the world’s business is done.

“We have a real interest in upholding these principles and making them a reality, in defending them against those who seek to dilute them, diminish them or eliminate them,” Blinken said. Above all, I look forward to hearing from all of our colleagues who have in various ways shown extraordinary courage in standing up for these principles around the world,” Blinken said.

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International Day of Democracy: protect press freedom – UN affiliate urges Ghanaians https://thebackwaterspress.org/international-day-of-democracy-protect-press-freedom-un-affiliate-urges-ghanaians/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 09:53:18 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/international-day-of-democracy-protect-press-freedom-un-affiliate-urges-ghanaians/ Conrad Kakraba — Head of Media and Public Relations, UNA-GH The United Nations Association-Ghana (UNA-GH) has urged Ghanaians to protect media freedom to shore up the country’s nascent democracy. The association also called on citizens to use legal proceedings to solve the problems they have with the media and not to take justice into their […]]]>

Conrad Kakraba — Head of Media and Public Relations, UNA-GH

The United Nations Association-Ghana (UNA-GH) has urged Ghanaians to protect media freedom to shore up the country’s nascent democracy.

The association also called on citizens to use legal proceedings to solve the problems they have with the media and not to take justice into their own hands.

“A free press has and continues to advance the cause of democracy in Ghana. Let us protect media freedom to shore up our fledgling democracy,” he said.

The day

The UNA-GH made the call in a statement issued and signed by its Media and Public Relations Officer, Conrad Kakraba, to commemorate this year’s International Day of Democracy (IDD) with the theme “Protecting Freedom of the press for democracy”.

The IDD is celebrated around the world on September 15 every year.

Established by a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, it aims to encourage governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.

Democracy Day is an opportunity to take stock of the state of democracy in the world.

This year’s celebration focuses on the cornerstone of democratic societies, free, independent and pluralistic media.

Code of Ethics/Abuse

In the statement, the association urged the media to operate within the law and the code of ethics and the guidelines of media regulators such as the Ghana Journalists Association, the National Media Commission and the Authority. communications national.

He called on the government, media players, regulators, practitioners and consumers to protect the country’s press freedom to protect the media.

He further called for an end to abuses against journalists in order to foster a climate of freedom of expression.

He cited a report by the Media Foundation for West Africa to back up the point on recorded abuses against journalists in the country.

“In April 2022, Ghana was plunged into shock and lamentation when it fell 30 places in the world and 10 places in Africa in the Freedom Ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF),” he said. he noted.

He said that in 2018, Ghana topped the continent and ranked 23rd in the world. The country even hosted the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day, jointly organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Ghana.

“This was only the second time that a West African country has hosted the global event. press in the country over the years. The fall is mainly due to a number of abuses against journalists and shrinking civic space,” he said.

Message

In a message to commemorate the day, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted that this year’s celebration marks the 15th anniversary of the IDD.

“Yet across the world, democracy is on the decline. Civic space is shrinking. Mistrust and discrimination increase. Moreover, polarization weakens democratic institutions. “, did he declare.

“Now is the time to reaffirm that democracy, development and human rights are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Now is the time to stand up for the democratic principles of equality, inclusion and solidarity. law and promote full participation in decision-making,” said the UN Secretary-General.

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MAINTAINING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IN A Thriving DEMOCRACY – FrontPageAfrica https://thebackwaterspress.org/maintaining-freedom-of-the-press-in-a-thriving-democracy-frontpageafrica/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:26:13 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/maintaining-freedom-of-the-press-in-a-thriving-democracy-frontpageafrica/ UNDP Guest Editorial LIBERIA DECLARED independence in 1847 and immediately instituted a democratic form of governance. This, however, began as a one-party democracy that lasted over four decades, and was followed by almost a decade of military rule. Multiparty democracy through free and fair elections materialized in 2005 after a decade and a half of […]]]>

UNDP Guest Editorial

LIBERIA DECLARED independence in 1847 and immediately instituted a democratic form of governance. This, however, began as a one-party democracy that lasted over four decades, and was followed by almost a decade of military rule. Multiparty democracy through free and fair elections materialized in 2005 after a decade and a half of civil conflict that threatened the very existence of the nation and its democratic foundations. The country’s first democratic succession from one party to another took place in 2017 after more than 170 years of citizenship.

CHAPTER THREE, Article 15 of the Constitution of the country and the sub-sub-sections derived from it, set forth the fundamental principle and guarantee of the individual and collective rights to exercise freedom of expression in any form and a manner consistent with international best practice. The government continued to improve the legal and regulatory environment for freedom of expression by repealing the Libel and Sedition Act in 2018, passing several other laws, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Creation of the Independent Information Commission.

LIBERIA IS ALSO a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 19 of which enshrines the principles of freedom of expression.

In addition, the Press Union established a National Media Council in 2016 which developed a code of conduct for journalists and the media to self-regulate. The country has a vibrant media landscape, with more than 40 newspapers, including online publications, and 130 radio and television stations, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). This year, Liberia was ranked 75/180 on the Global Press Index, an improvement from 2021, when it was ranked 98/180. It’s impressive.

DEMOCRACY THRIVES where freedom of speech and expression is respected. It is therefore fitting that the UN, this year, devotes the International Day of Democracy to “Protecting press freedom for democracy”. The media is essential in creating a space for people to express their opinions, giving a voice to the voiceless, including groups such as young people, women and people with disabilities, who are all marginalized but essential to achieve the SDGs. The media is essential to facilitate the inclusiveness and participation of the whole of society in democratic processes and governance.

ONE OF THE INTRINSIC principles of democracy is that institutions of governance should be transparent and accountable, and governed with integrity. While the Liberian media is undoubtedly progressive in covering and highlighting issues affecting society, there is a need to intensify its watchdog role to help national institutions foster a more deeply rooted culture of transparency, responsibility and integrity.

Mainstream and digital media, including social media, should foster further investigation into the functioning of the country’s governance institution and its effectiveness in delivering services to the Liberian people.

WHILE LIBERIA has made significant progress in building institutions of integrity in its post-war era through the Anti-Corruption, Governance, Human Rights and Audit Commissions , these institutions have not yet reached their optimal potential. The media is in a unique position to raise difficult questions on behalf of the Liberian people about whether key institutions of governance are functioning optimally to improve the lives of ordinary Liberians and to achieve the goals set out in the Agenda in pro-poor for prosperity and development.

THE MEDIA should also take full advantage of the conducive working environment in the country to go beyond traditional reporting on civil and political rights, and seek to understand, explore and highlight Liberia’s progress towards achieving the SDGs, holding the various duty bearers accountable. . More reporting needs to be done on access to basic services such as clean water, quality health services, justice, etc., as this is the essence of the SDGs.

THE MEDIA SHOULD also proactively seek out and tell the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help solve the multiple development challenges facing the country. This can help motivate more citizen-inspired action. Beyond that, the media must also strengthen their role of informing and educating citizens; this can help empower people to take action and participate in the democratic governance of the country.

AHEAD of the 2023 presidential and general elections, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the civic space necessary for all citizens to freely express their opinions and ideas is preserved. It will be a great testament to Liberia’s maturing democracy to see a peaceful dialogue between all stakeholders – government, citizens, political parties, private sector and other interest groups – on the choices to be made to promote the country’s development. . The media can play an important role in promoting and mediating these debates and discussions.

FINALLY, we welcome the measures taken by the government to increase access to information on its programs and activities, including the budget. It is important to continue moving in this direction, which is essential to empowering citizens and enabling meaningful participation in discussions and decision-making on public policy issues.

DESPITE THE REMAINING CHALLENGES, Liberia is on the right track to strengthen its democracy. Continued investments to guarantee and safeguard freedom of expression and freedom of the media will not only help consolidate the country’s achievements, but will also contribute significantly to the achievement of the SDGs and the objectives defined in the PAPD. A credible press working in tandem with government, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders bodes well for the future of the country.

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Action returns in Cebu Press Freedom Volleyball Tournament https://thebackwaterspress.org/action-returns-in-cebu-press-freedom-volleyball-tournament/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 11:56:00 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/action-returns-in-cebu-press-freedom-volleyball-tournament/ MEDIA practitioners in Cebu are not back to their respective beats and stations, but to the field, as they opened this year’s Cebu Press Freedom Week on Saturday, September 17, 2022, with a tournament of volleyball. The Cebu Mixed Press Freedom Invitational Tournament has returned two years after it was shut down due to the […]]]>

MEDIA practitioners in Cebu are not back to their respective beats and stations, but to the field, as they opened this year’s Cebu Press Freedom Week on Saturday, September 17, 2022, with a tournament of volleyball.

The Cebu Mixed Press Freedom Invitational Tournament has returned two years after it was shut down due to the coronavirus disease 2022 (Covid-19) pandemic.

This year, the media professionals are joined by representatives of their news sources, who have also formed a team that is competitive enough to make the matches more intense and exciting.

Six teams are in the running for this year’s cash prizes, along with titles such as Most Valuable Player (MVP), Top Forward, Top Blocker, Top Receiver, Top Passer, Top Server and best muse.

The first day of the tournament was held Saturday at the University of San Carlos (USC) Main Gymnasium on Sanciangko Street in Cebu City. The second day of the elimination round will take place on September 24, while the semi-finals and the championship will take place on October 1.

Event sponsors include Visayan Electric, Converge ICT Solutions Inc., USC and Rother’s Photography and Digital Printing.

The volleyball tournament is just one of the activities planned to celebrate Cebu’s 30th Press Freedom Week.

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Ensuring press freedom for democracy https://thebackwaterspress.org/ensuring-press-freedom-for-democracy/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 18:00:00 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/ensuring-press-freedom-for-democracy/ TODAY, the International Day of Democracy is celebrated with special emphasis on media freedom. It primarily marks the importance of media freedom for democracy, peace and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. There are essential links between democracy and human rights. The link between democracy and human rights is defined in Article 21(3) of […]]]>

TODAY, the International Day of Democracy is celebrated with special emphasis on media freedom. It primarily marks the importance of media freedom for democracy, peace and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are essential links between democracy and human rights. The link between democracy and human rights is defined in Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of government ; this will shall be expressed in genuine periodic elections by universal and equal suffrage held by secret ballot or by equivalent free vote procedures.

The rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and subsequent human rights instruments aimed at protecting rights groups, including indigenous peoples, minorities, persons with disabilities and others, are equally essential for democracy because they guarantee a fair distribution of wealth, as well as equality and equity.

However, media personnel around the world face obstacles when gathering information. Earlier this month, journalist Rajib Noor, special correspondent for bdnews24.com, was attacked while visiting the home of Ramnath Biswas, the man who once cycled around the world. It was reported in the newspapers and different journalists’ associations protested the incident.

During the Covid outbreak, the question of how best to counter harmful speech while protecting freedom of expression has come to the fore again in Bangladesh. Extensive efforts to eliminate misinformation or disinformation can result in deliberate or unintentional censorship, undermining public trust. The most effective response is to provide accurate, clear, and evidence-based information from sources people trust.

The pandemic, however, has failed to stop the pervasive corruption. Globally and locally, an increasing number of cases of corruption have been reported. For countries with relatively weaker healthcare systems, the novel coronavirus has brought the system to the brink of collapse. Not only have they struggled to contain the infection rate of the pandemic, but they have also experienced the disruption of other vital health services.

In Bangladesh, the issue of corruption in the health sector has become a major public concern. Corrupt practices have long been tolerated in the health sector, both in service delivery and in political decision-making. Procurement and procurement processes are controlled by a section of corrupt vendors with political ties. Relatively junior officials also participated in and engaged in various corrupt activities, including theft and embezzlement of relief materials.

A study by Transparency International Bangladesh found that while receiving care from public and private hospitals during the pandemic, 22.2% of service recipients experienced different irregularities and corruption. Irregularities included the additional burden of fees, negligence by medical staff, delays in service and non-cooperation. Another recent TIB report titled “Corruption in Service Sectors: National Household Survey 2021 also revealed a significant increase in corruption during the pandemic”. Around 71% of responding households said they had experienced one or more forms of corruption in 2021, up from 66.5% in the 2017 household survey. The survey results show that the cost of bribes has increased significantly in 2021. Other forms of corruption have also plagued the service sector, as the overall figure shows a significant increase in all forms of corruption.

The media has played a vital role in exposing some corruption issues during the pandemic. As a result, journalists have also faced various obstacles from different interest groups. Instead of taking initiatives to ensure media freedom in Bangladesh, the government has been considering new laws that will further restrict press freedom. Journalists’ associations have raised concerns about bills such as the “regulation of digital platforms, social media and over-the-top platforms” and the proposed “data protection law”. The government must take their concerns seriously because without freedom of the press, democracy cannot flourish.

Md Shahnur Rahman is a researcher on governance, development and corruption issues

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Human Development Index 2021: From Human Development Index to Press Freedom Index, know where India ranks. Human Development Index 2021: From HDI to press freedom, India is falling https://thebackwaterspress.org/human-development-index-2021-from-human-development-index-to-press-freedom-index-know-where-india-ranks-human-development-index-2021-from-hdi-to-press-freedom-india-is-falling/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 17:01:54 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/human-development-index-2021-from-human-development-index-to-press-freedom-index-know-where-india-ranks-human-development-index-2021-from-hdi-to-press-freedom-india-is-falling/ The average number of years of schooling is 6.7, when it should be 11.9 years India’s HDI value was 0.645 in 2019, which fell to 0.633 in 2021, due to falling average age. The average age in India has fallen from 69.7 years to 67.2 years. One of the issues based on the report and […]]]>

The average number of years of schooling is 6.7, when it should be 11.9 years India’s HDI value was 0.645 in 2019, which fell to 0.633 in 2021, due to falling average age. The average age in India has fallen from 69.7 years to 67.2 years. One of the issues based on the report and the standards on which it is prepared is school education. The average years of schooling in India is 6.7 while it should be 11.9 years. The Human Development Index, based on health, education and median income, declined in 2020 and 2021, compared to a significant increase in the previous five years.

India lags behind many neighboring countries India’s current ranking would be in line with the decline globally. Regarding the current ranking, it is said that for the first time in 32 years, human development has come to a standstill in the world. There has also been a drop in the average human lifespan worldwide, from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021. Experts emphasize developing a sense of global solidarity to deal with the problem.

The Human Development Index is prepared on three main questions The Human Development Index is prepared on the three key issues of a long and healthy life, access to education and a decent standard of living. These issues are calculated on the basis of four indicators, which include life expectancy at birth, average years of schooling, expected years of schooling and gross national income (GNI) per capita.

India lags behind other neighboring countries except Nepal and Pakistan in the human development index. Sri Lanka is ranked 73rd in this list. China is ranked 79th, Bhutan 127th, Bangladesh 129th, Nepal 143rd and Pakistan 161st. The top five countries are respectively Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Hong Kong and Australia.

world press freedom index The World Press Freedom Index report was released in May, in which India’s ranking rose from 142nd to 150th. The report was published by an organization called Reporters Without Borders. However, with the exception of Nepal, there has been a decline in the ranking of other countries neighboring India. Pakistan was ranked 157, Sri Lanka 146, Bangladesh 162 and Myanmar 176 out of a total of 180 countries. Nepal’s position was reported to be better, it was ranked 76th.

world hunger index 116 countries were included in the 2021 Global Hunger Index, among which India ranked 101st. This report was published in October last year. In this report, the neighboring countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal were informed before India. Meanwhile, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index in 2020.

Democracy Index The British Economist Intelligence Unit had ranked India 53rd in the global Democracy Index rankings for 2020. Meanwhile, in 2019, India was ranked 51st. India was mentioned higher in the list than most neighboring countries. Sri Lanka was ranked 68, Bangladesh 76, Bhutan 84 and Pakistan 105 in the list. Meanwhile, the top five countries included Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada respectively. North Korea was last in 167th place. The Democracy Index report is prepared with consideration of the country’s democratic values ​​and civil rights status.

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#IPIWoCo 2022 Recap: Life on the Frontlines for Press Freedom https://thebackwaterspress.org/ipiwoco-2022-recap-life-on-the-frontlines-for-press-freedom/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 16:31:02 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/ipiwoco-2022-recap-life-on-the-frontlines-for-press-freedom/ Journalists from India, Myanmar, Russia, Pakistan and Central America on the fight against censorship and repression Vilma Aholuoto, Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Journalism Fellow at IPI Sep 10, 2022 During the second day of the IPI World Congress at Columbia University in New York, panelists from India, Myanmar, Russia, Pakistan and Central America spoke about what […]]]>

Journalists from India, Myanmar, Russia, Pakistan and Central America on the fight against censorship and repression

Vilma Aholuoto, Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Journalism Fellow at IPI

Sep 10, 2022

During the second day of the IPI World Congress at Columbia University in New York, panelists from India, Myanmar, Russia, Pakistan and Central America spoke about what it is than to be at the forefront of the deterioration of the freedom of the press.

A changed media landscape, a lack of independent local media, disappearing sources and the weaponization of disinformation are some of the main issues facing journalists on the frontlines of press freedom, say panelists from India , Myanmar, Russia, Pakistan and Central America, speaking on Day 2 of the IPI World Congress 2022. The conversation was moderated by Julie Pace, Senior Vice President and Managing Editor of The Associated Press.

“The whole Central American region is going backwards when it comes to press freedom,” said José Zamora, communications and impact manager for EXILE and son of José Rubén Zamora, a Guatemalan journalist and world hero of the press. freedom of the press of the IPI, imprisoned since the end of July. According to Zamora, the Guatemalan government has become increasingly oppressive and authoritarian, the plight of his father, who faces charges of money laundering among others, being just one example.

“The authoritarian repression manual has now found a new trick which is that all journalists in the region are money launderers,” said Zamora, who joined the online panel.

The tricks of authoritarian regimes are not new to other panelists either, Roman Anin, founder and editor-in-chief of IStorys, a Russian investigative outlet operating in exile in Latvia, saying that “with the recent censorship, there are no independent media left in Russia”.

Sonny Swe, CEO and Founder of Frontier Myanmar, described how Myanmar’s entire media landscape has changed since the February 2021 military coup.

“There are three types of media operating in Myanmar. One is backed by the military, the second by the underground media and the third by the media in exile. I am one of the outsourced outlets,” Swe said. He added that underground and offshore journalists still face multiple security challenges. Swe said many journalists are struggling to survive.

“Please help them, for their safety and their future. I have never seen a media landscape like this in my life,” Swe said, addressing Congress.

The lack of independent local media was also noted by Ayesha Tanzeem, director of the South and Central Asia division of Voice of America, who reported on the ground from Afghanistan.

“When I talk to Afghan journalists today, there is not a single one who is not self-censoring,” Tanzeem said. She added that there have been differences in media coverage of certain parts of the country, with “information black holes” being born due to the absence of anyone to report in some provinces.

So how do you get information from an area if there is no free local media and foreign journalists cannot access it?

“One of the things we do now is have someone on the pitch helping us without giving him the signature or mentioning his name,” Tanzeem said. She also used old sources, collected during her previous reporting assignments in the country.

“Our biggest source at the moment is the locals. We used to go knock on people’s doors, now we just call them. However, more and more of the people we call are leaving the country or planning to leave.

Joining us is Roman Anin of IStories, describing how after Russia’s war in Ukraine began, he could no longer talk to his sources in the secret service, many, if not all of whom supported the war. “It’s hard to get information about Russia,” Anin said. When working with freelancers, he also had to exercise extreme caution.

“We do a lot of video which is difficult because we have to get it from the ground up. If a freelancer is arrested by the police and the police find out they work for us, the freelancer could end up in jail,” Anin said.

The panelists also addressed the subject of misinformation and professional “fake news”. Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire in India, said the government has weaponized disinformation and surveillance. José Zamora said Central America is going through a similar experience.

“Governments have newsrooms, teams of organized trolls who attack anyone who criticizes the authorities. This happens in all Central American countries,” Zamora said.

Swe agreed, saying that when it comes to spreading disinformation, the Burmese junta is copying and pasting other governments. VOA’s Tanzeem added that audiences seem really confused about what’s real and what’s fake when it comes to the news.

“It’s a bigger problem. We have to ask ourselves why do we have a society full of educated people without any capacity for critical thinking?” Tanzeem said.

Varadarajan noted that misinformation has been with us forever, but it’s technology that makes it worse. “Good journalism is the only way to combat the spread of false information,” he said.

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The state of press freedom in Turkey https://thebackwaterspress.org/the-state-of-press-freedom-in-turkey/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 04:00:00 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/the-state-of-press-freedom-in-turkey/ Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its latest ranking, “World Press Freedom Index”, places Turkey in 149th position. In 2005 he was 98th. According to RSF, civil society and the world of associations are the two important elements fighting in Turkey to try to defend freedom of the press. The restriction of this fundamental right manifests […]]]>

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its latest ranking, “World Press Freedom Index”, places Turkey in 149th position. In 2005 he was 98th. According to RSF, civil society and the world of associations are the two important elements fighting in Turkey to try to defend freedom of the press.

The restriction of this fundamental right manifests itself in four main ways in Turkey. The first, the most widespread and well-known, is the path of complaints and lawsuits, which can end either by pre-trial detentions or arrests.

Often “anonymous witnesses” are used and false evidence is produced after the arrest of the journalist. The most common charges are transgression of anti-terrorism laws or insulting the President of the Republic.

The case of the journalist Serife Oruc of the Dicle news agency is an example. Oruç is accused of “belonging to a terrorist organization”, and among the “evidence” in support of this accusation are the statements of an anonymous witness made at the beginning of the trial during an interrogation, but never repeated before the court. judge despite 19 hearings held over five years.

Finally, long periods of pre-trial detention pending not only the final verdict but also the indictment are very common. The most emblematic and well-known case is that of Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel, who was forced into solitary confinement for a year in the special prison of Silivri without charge or warrant. The case of Yucel and so many of his colleagues makes us realize that detentions against journalists are highly political.

According to the Expression Interrupted platform working for the P24 association, 67 journalists were detained in Turkey between May and July 2022. For the month of June alone, 22 journalists had been placed in pre-trial detention in the city of Diyarbakir, and 16 between them the arrests have been confirmed. Also in the same report, it is reported that in the second half of 2022, a total of 168 journalists appeared before a judge because they had been prosecuted or were already on trial. During the same period, a total of 9 journalists were sentenced to 17 years in prison.

On the other hand, in the similar report prepared by the main opposition party, the CHP (People’s Party of the Republic), still in the first six months of 2022, a total of 350 journalists appeared before a judge, 56 journalists remanded in custody, and for 23 of them the arrest was confirmed.

The second method used against opposition voices is that of aggression and intimidation. The most recent example concerns the journalist Ebru Uzun Oruc who brings on her YouTube channel the voices of the citizens she interviews on the streets of different regions of Turkey.

Oruç released a video in early August asking for citizens’ opinions on Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and parliamentary ally of the ruling AKP.

After a series of threats received on social networks by party activists, Oruç and her husband were victims of an attack in Istanbul on August 13. The Association of Progressive Journalists (CGD) condemned the attack, calling on the authorities to investigate and find the perpetrators immediately.

RSF also commented on this incident, which fortunately resulted in few injuries, pointing out that similar cases are widespread in Turkey and are the result of collective or individual lynching campaigns initiated by certain prominent members of political parties.

Instead, in the case of Gungor Aslan, there was not much to do. Aslan was the owner of a local news portal, Ses Kocaeli, and was murdered outside his office on February 19.

During the first interrogation, the alleged murderer, after admitting his guilt, stated that he had decided to murder Aslan because he disagreed with one of his articles. Instead, according to Aslan’s colleagues, it was an organized murder, the result of a collective effort.

The third method of restricting press freedom in Turkey is economic pressure which often voluntarily pushes journalists out of work or paves the way for lawsuits for media closures. Once a lawsuit is concluded with a media outlet shutting down, the bidding route is on, and often the new buyer is a business that has a political, ideological, or familial connection to the ruling party.

In its report published at the end of 2021, the Association of Journalists of Turkey (TGC) specifies that in 10 years around 12,000 journalists and reporters have been unemployed because they were fired because of the content of their work or because the media they worked for were shut down due to political or economic pressures. The report contains numerous testimonies that speak of widespread poverty among the workers but also of widespread censorship and self-censorship that led to their dismissal or resignation.

In a very detailed book (“Cross-Ownership of Media in Turkey”) prepared by Dergi Park magazine, it is shown that with the rise to power of the fundamentalist AKP party in 2002, a number of , or existing small companies have become large , and slowly took most of the media market. Calik Holding and Es Medya are just two excellent examples of this strong transformation. Two companies that operated mainly in the world of energy and infrastructure now hold around 50% of the media market. Calik Holding and Es Medya are just two excellent examples of this strong transformation. Two companies that operated mainly in the world of energy and infrastructure now hold around 50% of the media market. The former CEO of Calik Holding is Berat Albayrak, i.e. the son-in-law of the current President of the Republic and former Minister of Energy and later former Minister of Treasury. In 2021 thanks to the Pandora Papers scandal, Turkey discovered how Calik Holding systematically evaded tax by opening tax identities in four tax havens.

Calik Holding bought media giant Merkez Medya at auction in 2007, paying $1.1 billion. Later in 2013, she sold it to the Kalyon company. The latter according to the report published by the World Bank in 2020 is one of the ten companies taking the most government contracts in the world. In fact, among Kalyon’s works are many airports, dams, hydroelectric plants, bridges and state universities.

Es Medya, on the contrary, belonged to the entrepreneur Ethem Sancak, an eminent figure in the fundamentalist movement and a close friend of the President of the Republic. Until 2017, Sancak controlled 24 national newspapers and 360 local and national TV channels, and that same year he decided to sell everything to Hasan Yesildag. The sale was confirmed by Sancak himself in an interview with Bloomberg. The new owner is a little known name in Turkey but for some journalists he is a very important person, the former cellmate of the President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to some journalists, Yesildag worked as a guard for Erdogan while he was detained for 4 months in 1997.

Another example of the transformation of media profiles in Turkey is the case of Turkuaz Medya. In 2017, Turkuaz Medya purchased at auction 2 TV channels and 5 radio channels previously belonging to the Gulen community or close to its ideological line. The religious and business community of Gulen is that reality, a former ally of the government, accused of being behind and implementing the failed coup of 2016. During the state of emergency, from 2016 to 2018, various media belonging to or close to Gulen were shut down, confiscated and auctioned off.

In 2003, lawyer Fikret Ilkiz in his detailed article published on the news portal BiaNet, and in 2017 university professor Burak Celik in an academic research article, explained in detail how the media in Turkey was controlled by some companies. Instead, with a 2017 report by journalist Abdullah Köktürk, he showed how the political and ideological positions of the mainstream media controlled by the companies mentioned above were now definitely and obviously aligned with those of the central government. Thus, in such a situation, the voices of the opposition find little room to express themselves and to employ themselves.

The last element often used in Turkey to restrict freedom of the press is the law. In recent years, the ruling coalition has introduced a number of legislative changes under the pretext of “protecting the serenity of the people, defending family values ​​and national security”.

However, in reality, these changes have resulted in additional censorship and restricted expression in the media. The latest example is the bill “against disinformation” that the government coalition is trying to pass. Under this law, making disinformation would be defined as a crime, punishable by up to 3 years in prison. The definition of the crime is very general and broad: “Dissemination of information for the purpose of creating panic, fear and anxiety, of endangering national security and of disseminating information harmful to health and public order”. The bill would also cover websites and the convicted journalist would lose their accreditation.

Finally, to be more effective, the law would require social media to have a representative office in Turkey and a representative of Turkish nationality. In the event of an investigation for “misinformation”, social networks would be required to provide the contact details of one or more users, and in the event of non-response to the request, the bandwidth they use can be reduced by up to 90%, and finally their service could be prevented for up to 6 months.

This scenario, briefly illustrated and with some example elements, helps to understand that Turkey is not an easy and safe country for those who work in the information world. The situation described in this article is the result of a politico-economic conception aimed at the independent world of information, which can, if necessary, call into question the work of the administrative power. Although the most popular tool seems to be detention, there are many alternative methods to prevent labor and intimidate the thousands of journalists and reporters who don’t end up in jail and try to do their job properly and honestly.

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IFJ in Sharif: restore Bol News, defend press freedom https://thebackwaterspress.org/ifj-in-sharif-restore-bol-news-defend-press-freedom/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 12:54:44 +0000 https://thebackwaterspress.org/ifj-in-sharif-restore-bol-news-defend-press-freedom/ ISLAMABAD: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Prime Minister to authorize the reinstatement of News Bowl days after the popular cable TV station was suspended reportedly for operating with an expired license. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Monday stop transmitting News Bowlcriticism of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government […]]]>

ISLAMABAD: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Prime Minister to authorize the reinstatement of News Bowl days after the popular cable TV station was suspended reportedly for operating with an expired license.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Monday stop transmitting News Bowlcriticism of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government and its sister station Entertainment Bowl as what he claimed was their inability to obtain security clearance from the Home Office.

A meeting of the digital media watchdog was told it also revoked the stations’ licenses in 2017, recalling that the case was pending in the Sindh High Court (SHC) until the year last.

He noted that the High Court had also settled the case in July 2021. The meeting was informed News Bowl could not be allowed to operate until the Interior Ministry, led by a stalwart of the Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), issued a security clearance.

“As a result, PEMRA has reviewed all records, court orders and notices from the Department of the Interior and has subsequently decided to revoke the licenses issued to Labbaik (Pvt.) Ltd. (the stations’ holding company) with immediate effect. .”

The watchdog noted the license of Entertainment Bowl expired in December 2021 and the company has not approached PEMRA for its renewal.

Expressing concern over the “restriction” of media freedom, the IFJ, the world federation of journalists’ unions, in a statement, urged the administration of Shehbaz Sharif to “protect the rights of all journalists and media workers and uphold freedom of speech and of the press in accordance with the Pakistani Constitution”.

Freedom of expression activists have criticized the rampant censorship and control of the country’s internet, print and electronic media by the current government.

“It’s digital martial law,” said Usama Khilji, a digital rights activist. AFP.

Pakistan has a history of those in power using the police and courts to stifle their political opponents, and Sharif also has several ongoing cases since he was in opposition.

– With AFP

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