The Forbidden Words Of Margaret A. is a science fiction story by L. Timmel Duchamp, first published in 1990, describing a journalist's heavily-vetted meeting with a woman whose words have been declared illegal by the American government. [more inside]
RBC recently became the latest of many independent news organization in Russia to face resignations, restrictions and closures due to mounting pressure from authorities. In May, the editor-in-chief was dismissed, reportedly due to political pressure resulting from stories about Putin's inner circle. Two other chief editors and numerous editorial staff left in protest. The replacement chief editors, brought in from state-controlled media outlet TASS, wanted to introduce themselves to the remaining RBC staff. The Q&A with the new bosses started with a simple request: “Everything we discuss here … doesn't go beyond this room and doesn't end up on social media.” Naturally, the whole thing was recorded, and the transcript was posted online. [more inside]
After nine years of censorship, Canadian scientists can speak about their work. Although it may take time for the policy changes to make their way through the bureaucracy. [more inside]
French journalist accuses China of intimidating foreign press. by Tom Phillips [The Guardian]
China is facing accusations of attempting to muzzle and intimidate foreign press after it said it would expel a French journalist who refused to apologise for an article criticising government policy. Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, claimed Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing correspondent for French magazine L’Obs, had offended the Chinese people with a recent column about terrorism and the violence-hit region of Xinjiang. “Gauthier failed to apologise to the Chinese people for her wrong words and it is no longer suitable for her to work in China,” Lu said in a statement, according to Xinhua, Beijing’s official news agency.[more inside]
Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been released from prison following Eid al-Adha pardon. [New York Times] [more inside]
The Saudi Arabian government has been tight-lipped about the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a disease first discovered in 2012 that has "killed more than half of those who contracted it", "responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome. [more inside]
The sad truth is that we have a govt that seems intent on turning corruption into a national sport...
Today the South African parliament, dominated by the ANC, passed by a large majority a media law which will restrict and constrain independent journalism in that country. Indeed, the law seems designed to squeeze, chill or eliminate independent reporting. The state is going to be accountable to the state. [George Brock][more inside]
Al Jazeera English's "Listening Post" on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a proposal that could turn Iceland into a "journalism haven."
In the same spirit as the Open Net Initiative and Committee to Protect Bloggers that both track global internet filtering, Sami ben Gharbia's Access Denied Map tries to track the blocking of sites like Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others by governments, as well as efforts by activists to keep them accessible or to challenge their blockage.
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda." This quote, captured in a USA Today article, came from Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti in response to allegations that CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
Search the New York Times website for any occurrence of the words "Valerie Plame" during the last week...and you'll find nada, zilch, zip. The so-called "paper of record" has remained totally mum on what may be one of the biggest scandals of the Bush administration yet. You can read about it at Newsday, CBS, Time, and The Nation, and it's been mentioned on NBC... but not a word from the New York Times (save for a reference to it last week by syndicated columnist Paul Krugman, and a wire service story today; neither of those pieces mentions Plame by name). The Times' news and editorial divisions are asleep at the switch on this story. Maybe the Jayson Blair scandal was a distraction from the deeper problem: a paper that is so concerned with being balanced and respectable, it refuses to cover any politically controversial stories. You can e-mail email@example.com to ask why the Valerie Plame news blackout. Or just click this link a few dozen times to send 'em a message.
GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq They claim that the ad itself is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.” Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
Internet bypasses censorship of school paper, when students prevented from publishing multi-article feature on school violence [ChiTrib: free reg] put it online at Geocities. Was the issue too provocative for a school paper that must answer to parents? Is the internet "safety valve" a realistic solution for these all-too-common disputes?