The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school. [more inside]
Restoring Journalism Maureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism. (via 2p & dd) [more inside]
An Israeli journalist, Anat Kam (23), has been under secret house arrest since December on charges that she leaked up to 1,000 highly sensitive, classified military documents suggesting the IDF breached a court order against assassinations in the occupied West Bank, to Ha'aretz reporter Uri Blau. A court-imposed gag order first proposed by the Israeli government and now apparently supported by Kam's lawyers is preventing media investigation and coverage of both her arrest and the charges of espionage and treason against her in Israel. Blau is reportedly now self-exiled in London, and negotiating his return with Israeli authorities. [more inside]
The Committee to Protect Journalists has released the 2008 prison census. China retains the lead with Tibetan issues bringing them 28 jailed journalists. Cuba claims 2nd place with 21 jailed journalists. Burma & Eritrea almost tied for 3rd with 14 & 13, respectively. But the biggest news is internet journalists are now the largest group of journalists in jail.
As a result of the Dutch film Fitna, Indonesia has blocked several websites including MySpace and YouTube. This follows hot on the heels of a new bill which could see people face six years of jail time or a 1 billion rupiah fine for being caught sending out porn, “false news” or racial or religious slurs on the Web. The Indonesian government will start censoring the Internet next month with specialised software. Very disappointing for a country which had a reasonably free press.
Judith Miller Goes to Jail...for not revealing her source. Opinions seem to differ on Miller's personal credibility and reporting history. But is that the issue?
Reporters Sans Frontières has released its 2003 world press freedom rankings: "Cuba second from last, just ahead of North Korea. United States and Israel singled out for actions beyond their borders....The ranking distinguishes behaviour at home and abroad in the cases of the United States and Israel. They are ranked in 31st and 44th positions respectively as regards respect for freedom of expression on their own territory, but they fall to the 135th and 146th positions as regards behaviour beyond their borders." In related news, "In Baghdad, official control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city’s hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day’s dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren’t accompanied by a Coalition escort. Iraqi police refer reporters’ questions to American forces; the Americans refer them back to the Iraqis";"Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins"; and it looks like we may have been using the word "casualties" incorrectly all this time.
Americans less supportive of 1st amendment. Roughly four in 10 people (41%) said the media have too much freedom. Four in 10 respondents (39%) believed the First Amendment goes too far in guaranteeing rights. 71% said it was "very" or "somewhat" important for the government to hold the media in check.
Freedom of the press? You won't be needing that, says the United Nations!