Freedom of the press

Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.

With respect to governmental information, any government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public. State materials are protected due to either of two reasons: the classification of information as sensitive, classified or secret, or the relevance of the information to protecting the national interest. Many governments are also subject to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation that are used to define the ambit of national interest.

The United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers".[1]

This philosophy is usually accompanied by legislation ensuring various degrees of freedom of scientific research (known as scientific freedom), publishing, and press. The depth to which these laws are entrenched in a country's legal system can go as far down as its constitution. The concept of freedom of speech is often covered by the same laws as freedom of the press, thereby giving equal treatment to spoken and published expression. Sweden was the first country in the world to adopt freedom of the press into its constitution with the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766.

Relationship to self-publishing

Freedom of the press is construed as an absence of interference by outside entities, such as a government or religious organization, rather than as a right for authors to have their works published by other people.[2] This idea was famously summarized by the 20th century American journalist, A. J. Liebling, who wrote, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one".[2] Freedom of the press gives the printer or publisher exclusive control over what the publisher chooses to publish, including the right to refuse to print anything for any reason.[2] If the author cannot reach a voluntary agreement with a publisher to produce the author's work, then the author must turn to self-publishing.

Status of press freedom worldwide

Can Dündar prix RSF Strasbourg 17 novembre 2015
Cumhuriyet 's former editor-in-chief Can Dündar receiving the 2015 Reporters Without Borders Prize. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested.

Beyond legal definitions, several non-governmental organizations use other criteria to judge the level of press freedom around the world. Some create subjective lists, while others are based on quantitative data:

  • Reporters Without Borders considers the number of journalists murdered, expelled or harassed, and the existence of a state monopoly on TV and radio, as well as the existence of censorship and self-censorship in the media, and the overall independence of media as well as the difficulties that foreign reporters may face to rank countries in levels of press freedom.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) systematically tracks the number of journalists killed and imprisoned in reprisal for their work. It says it uses the tools of journalism to help journalists by tracking press freedom issues through independent research, fact-finding missions, and a network of foreign correspondents, including local working journalists in countries around the world. CPJ shares information on breaking cases with other press freedom organizations worldwide through the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of more than 119 free expression organizations. CPJ also tracks impunity in cases of journalist murders. CPJ staff applies strict criteria for each case; researchers independently investigate and verify the circumstances behind each death or imprisonment.
  • Freedom House studies the more general political and economic environments of each nation in order to determine whether relationships of dependence exist that limit in practice the level of press freedom that might exist in theory. Panels of experts assess the press freedom score and draft each country summary according to a weighted scoring system that analyzes the political, economic, legal and safety situation for journalists based on a 100-point scale. It then categorizes countries as having a free, party free, or not free press.

Annual report on journalists killed and Prison Census

Every year, the Committee to Protect Journalists releases its comprehensive list of all journalists killed in relation to their work, including profiles of each journalist and a database, and an annual census of journalists in jail as of midnight on December 1. 2017 was a record year for journalists jailed with 262 journalists behind bars. Turkey, China and Egypt accounted for more than half of all journalists jailed globally.

Worldwide press freedom index

Press freedom 2018
2018 Press Freedom Index[3]
  Very serious situation
  Difficult situation
  Noticeable problems
  Satisfactory situation
  Good situation
  Not classified / No data

Every year, Reporters Without Borders establish a subjective ranking of countries in terms of their freedom of the press. Press Freedom Index list is based on responses to surveys sent to journalists that are members of partner organizations of the RWB, as well as related specialists such as researchers, jurists, and human rights activists. The survey asks questions about direct attacks on journalists and the media as well as other indirect sources of pressure against the free press, such as non-governmental groups.

In 2016, the countries where press was the most free were Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand, followed by Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica. The country with the least degree of press freedom was Eritrea, followed by North Korea, Turkmenistan, Syria, China, Vietnam and Sudan.[4]

The problem with media in India, the world's largest democracy, is enormous. India doesn't have a model for a democratic press. The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has published a report[5] on India stating that Indian journalists are forced—or feel compelled for the sake of job security—to report in ways that reflect the political opinions and corporate interests of shareholders. The report written by Ravi S Jha says "Indian journalism, with its lack of freedom and self-regulation, cannot be trusted now—it is currently known for manipulation and bias."

Freedom of the Press

FreedomHouse-FreedomOfThePress-WorldMap
Freedom of the press map 2015

Freedom of the Press is a yearly report by US-based non-profit organization Freedom House. It is known to subjectively measure the level of freedom and editorial independence that is enjoyed by the press in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world. Levels of freedom are scored on a scale from 1 (most free) to 100 (least free). Depending on the basics, the nations are then classified as "Free", "Partly Free", or "Not Free".

In 2009 Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden topped the list with North Korea, Turkmenistan, Myanmar (Burma), Libya, Eritrea at the bottom.

Non-democratic states

Georgi gongadse
Georgiy Gongadze, Ukrainian journalist, founder of a popular Internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000.

According to Reporters Without Borders, more than a third of the world's people live in countries where there is no press freedom.[6] Overwhelmingly, these people live in countries where there is no system of democracy or where there are serious deficiencies in the democratic process.[7] Freedom of the press is an extremely problematic problem/concept for most non-democratic systems of government since, in the modern age, strict control of access to information is critical to the existence of most non-democratic governments and their associated control systems and security apparatus. To this end, most non-democratic societies employ state-run news organizations to promote the propaganda critical to maintaining an existing political power base and suppress (often very brutally, through the use of police, military, or intelligence agencies) any significant attempts by the media or individual journalists to challenge the approved "government line" on contentious issues. In such countries, journalists operating on the fringes of what is deemed to be acceptable will very often find themselves the subject of considerable intimidation by agents of the state. This can range from simple threats to their professional careers (firing, professional blacklisting) to death threats, kidnapping, torture, and assassination.

History

Europe

Central, Northern and Western Europe has a long tradition of freedom of speech, including freedom of the press. After World War II, Hugh Baillie, the president of United Press wire service based in the U.S., promoted freedom of news dissemination. In 1944 he called for an open system of news sources and transmission, and minimum of government regulation of the news. His proposals were aired at the Geneva Conference on Freedom of Information in 1948, but were blocked by the Soviets and the French.[10]

Media freedom is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens, as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.[11]:1 Within the EU enlargement process, guaranteeing media freedom is named a "key indicator of a country's readiness to become part of the EU".[12]

Great Britain

According to the New York Times, "Britain has a long tradition of a free, inquisitive press", but "[u]nlike the United States, Britain has no constitutional guarantee of press freedom."[13] Freedom of the press was established in Great Britain in 1695, with Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian, stating: "When people talk about licensing journalists or newspapers the instinct should be to refer them to history. Read about how licensing of the press in Britain was abolished in 1695. Remember how the freedoms won here became a model for much of the rest of the world, and be conscious how the world still watches us to see how we protect those freedoms."[14]

Areopagitica bridwell
First page of John Milton's 1644 edition of Areopagitica

Until 1694, England had an elaborate system of licensing; the most recent was seen in the Licensing of the Press Act 1662. No publication was allowed without the accompaniment of a government-granted license. Fifty years earlier, at a time of civil war, John Milton wrote his pamphlet Areopagitica (1644).[15] In this work Milton argued forcefully against this form of government censorship and parodied the idea, writing "when as debtors and delinquents may walk abroad without a keeper, but unoffensive books must not stir forth without a visible jailer in their title." Although at the time it did little to halt the practice of licensing, it would be viewed later a significant milestone as one of the most eloquent defenses of press freedom.[15]

Milton's central argument was that the individual is capable of using reason and distinguishing right from wrong, good from bad. In order to be able to exercise this ration right, the individual must have unlimited access to the ideas of his fellow men in “a free and open encounter." From Milton's writings developed the concept of the open marketplace of ideas, the idea that when people argue against each other, the good arguments will prevail. One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was seditious libel, and laws were in place that made criticizing the government a crime. The King was above public criticism and statements critical of the government were forbidden, according to the English Court of the Star Chamber. Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government.

Locke contributed to the lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695, whereupon the press needed no license. Still, many libels were tried throughout the 18th century, until "the Society of the Bill of Rights" led by John Horne Tooke and John Wilkes organized a campaign to publish Parliamentary Debates. This culminated in three defeats of the Crown in the 1770 cases of Almon, of Miller and of Woodfall, who all had published one of the Letters of Junius, and the unsuccessful arrest of John Wheble in 1771. Thereafter the Crown was much more careful in the application of libel; for example, in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre, Burdett was convicted, whereas by contrast the Junius affair was over a satire and sarcasm about the non-lethal conduct and policies of government.

In Britain's American colonies, the first editors discovered their readers enjoyed it when they criticized the local governor; the governors discovered they could shut down the newspapers. The most dramatic confrontation came in New York in 1734, where the governor brought John Peter Zenger to trial for criminal libel after the publication of satirical attacks. The defense lawyers argued that according to English common law, the truth was a valid defense against libel. The jury acquitted Zenger, who became the iconic American hero for freedom of the press. The result was an emerging tension between the media and the government. By the mid-1760s, there were 24 weekly newspapers in the 13 colonies, and the satirical attack on government became common features in American newspapers.[16]

John Stuart Mill in 1869 in his book On Liberty approached the problem of authority versus liberty from the viewpoint of a 19th-century utilitarian: The individual has the right of expressing himself so long as he does not harm other individuals. The good society is one in which the greatest number of persons enjoy the greatest possible amount of happiness. Applying these general principles of liberty to freedom of expression, Mill states that if we silence an opinion, we may silence the truth. The individual freedom of expression is therefore essential to the well-being of society. Mill wrote:

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and one, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.[17]

Denmark–Norway

Between September 4, 1770 and October 7, 1771 the kingdom of Denmark–Norway had the most unrestricted freedom of press of any country in Europe. This occurred during the regime of Johann Friedrich Struensee, whose second act was to abolish the old censorship laws. However, due to the great amount of mostly anonymous pamphlets published that was critical and often slanderous towards Struensee's own regime, he reinstated some restrictions regarding the freedom of press a year later, October 7, 1771.[18]

Italy

After the Italian unification in 1861, the Albertine Statute of 1848 was adopted as the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy. The Statute granted the freedom of the press with some restrictions in case of abuses and in religious matters, as stated in Article 28:[19]

The press shall be free, but the law may suppress abuses of this freedom. However, Bibles, catechisms, liturgical and prayer books shall not be printed without the prior permission of the Bishop.

After the abolition of the monarchy in 1946 and the abrogation of the Statute in 1948, the Constitution of the Republic of Italy guarantees the freedom of the press, as stated in Article 21, Paragraphs 2 and 3:[20]

The press may not be subjected to any authorisation or censorship. Seizure may be permitted only by judicial order stating the reason and only for offences expressly determined by the law on the press or in case of violation of the obligation to identify the persons responsible for such offences.

The Constitution allows the warrantless confiscation of periodicals in cases of absolute urgency, when the Judiciary cannot timely intervene, on the condition that a judicial validation must be obtained within 24 hours. Article 21 also gives restrictions against those publications considered offensive by public morality, as stated in Paragraph 6:

Publications, performances, and other exhibits offensive to public morality shall be prohibited. Measures of preventive and repressive measure against such violations shall be established by law.

Nazi Germany (1933–1945)

In 1933 freedom of the press was suppressed in Nazi Germany by the Reichstag Fire Decree of President Paul von Hindenburg, just as Adolf Hitler was coming to power. Hitler largely suppressed freedom of the press through Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.[21] The Ministry acted as a central control point for all media, issuing orders as to what stories could be run and what stories would be suppressed. Anyone involved in the film industry - from directors to the lowliest assistant - had to sign an oath of loyalty to the Nazi Party, due to opinion-changing power Goebbels perceived movies to have. (Goebbels himself maintained some personal control over every single film made in Nazi Europe.) Journalists who crossed the Propaganda Ministry were routinely imprisoned.

Sweden and Finland

One of the world's first freedom of the press acts was introduced in Sweden in 1766, mainly due to classical liberal member of parliament, Ostrobothnian priest, Anders Chydenius.[22][23][24][25] Excepted and liable to prosecution was only vocal opposition to the King and the Church of Sweden. The Act was largely rolled back after King Gustav's coup d'état in 1772, restored after the overthrowing of his son, Gustav IV of Sweden in 1809, and fully recognized with the abolition of the king's prerogative to cancel licenses in the 1840s.

Americas

United States

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Canada

Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that everyone has "the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication."[26]

The open court principle ensures the freedom of the press by requiring that court proceedings presumptively be open and accessible to the public and to the media.

Asia

Singapore

Singapore's media environment is considered to be not controlled by the government.[27][28]

India

The Indian Constitution, while not mentioning the word "press", provides for "the right to freedom of speech and expression" (Article 19(1) a). However this right is subject to restrictions under sub clause, whereby this freedom can be restricted for reasons of "sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, preserving decency, preserving morality, in relation to contempt, court, defamation, or incitement to an offense". Laws such as the Official Secrets Act and Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act[29] (PoTA) have been used to limit press freedom. Under PoTA, person could be detained for up to six months for being in contact with a terrorist or terrorist group. PoTA was repealed in 2006, but the Official Secrets Act 1923 continues.

For the first half-century of independence, media control by the state was the major constraint on press freedom. Indira Gandhi famously stated in 1975 that All India Radio is "a Government organ, it is going to remain a Government organ..."[30] With the liberalization starting in the 1990s, private control of media has burgeoned, leading to increasing independence and greater scrutiny of government.

It ranks poorly at 138th[31] rank out of 180 listed countries in the Press Freedom Index 2018 released by Reporters Without Borders (RWB).[32] Analytically India's press freedom, as could be deduced by the Press Freedom Index, has constantly reduced since 2002, when it culminated in terms of apparent freedom, achieving a rank of 80 among the reported countries. In 2018, India's freedom of press ranking declined two placed to 138. In explaining the decline, RWB cited growing intolerance from Hindu nationalist supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the murders of journalists such as Gauri Lankesh.[33][34][35]

Bangladesh

Bangladeshi media is reportedly following a self-censorship due to a controversial act named as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. Under this act, 25 journalists and several hundred bloggers and Facebook users are reportedly prosecuted in Bangladesh in 2017.[36]

Bangladesh ranks poorly at 146th rank out of 180 listed countries in the Press Freedom Index 2018 released by Reporters Without Borders (RWB).[32] Bangladeshi media has faced many problems in 2018. The country's most popular online newspaper bdnews24.com was blocked for a few hours on June 18, 2018 by Bangladesh's regulatory authority. Another newspaper The Daily Star's website was blocked for 22 hours on June 2, 2018 after it had published a report about a victim of an extrajudicial execution in the southeastern city of Cox's Bazar.[37]

During the road-safety protests in 2018, Bangladeshi government switched off 3G and 4G mobile data and also arrested a photographer named Shahidul Alam under ICT act, after he had given an interview with Al Jazeera.[38]

Africa

Tanzania

As of 2018, online content providers must be licensed and pay an annual fee to the government.[39]

Implications of new technologies

Many of the traditional means of delivering information are being slowly superseded by the increasing pace of modern technological advance. Almost every conventional mode of media and information dissemination has a modern counterpart that offers significant potential advantages to journalists seeking to maintain and enhance their freedom of speech. A few simple examples of such phenomena include:

  • Satellite television versus terrestrial television: Whilst terrestrial television is relatively easy to manage and manipulate, satellite television is much more difficult to control as journalistic content can easily be broadcast from other jurisdictions beyond the control of individual governments. An example of this in the Middle East is the satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera. This Arabic-language media channel operates out of Qatar, whose government is relatively liberal compared to many of its neighboring states. As such, its views and content are often problematic to a number of governments in the region and beyond. However, because of the increased affordability and miniaturisation of satellite technology (e.g. dishes and receivers) it is simply not practicable for most states to control popular access to the channel.
  • Internet-based publishing (e.g., blogging, social media) vs. traditional publishing: Traditional magazines and newspapers rely on physical resources (e.g., offices, printing presses) that can easily be targeted and forced to close down. Internet-based publishing systems can be run using ubiquitous and inexpensive equipment and can operate from any global jurisdiction. Nations and organisations are increasingly resorting to legal measures to take control of online publications, using national security, anti-terror measures and copyright laws to issue takedown notices and restrict opposition speech.[40]
  • Internet, anonymity software and strong cryptography: In addition to Internet-based publishing the Internet in combination with anonymity software such as Tor and cryptography allows for sources to remain anonymous and sustain confidentiality while delivering information to or securely communicating with journalists anywhere in the world in an instant (e.g. SecureDrop, WikiLeaks)
  • Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) vs. conventional telephony: Although conventional telephony systems are easily tapped and recorded, modern VOIP technology can employ low-cost strong cryptography to evade surveillance. As VOIP and similar technologies become more widespread they are likely to make the effective monitoring of journalists (and their contacts and activities) a very difficult task for governments.

Naturally, governments are responding to the challenges posed by new media technologies by deploying increasingly sophisticated technology of their own (a notable example being China's attempts to impose control through a state-run internet service provider that controls access to the Internet) but it seems that this will become an increasingly difficult task as journalists continue to find new ways to exploit technology and stay one step ahead of the generally slower-moving government institutions that attempt to censor them.

In May 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation intended to promote a free press around the world, a bipartisan measure inspired by the murder in Pakistan of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001. The legislation, called the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, requires the United States Department of State to expand its scrutiny of news media restrictions and intimidation as part of its annual review of human rights in each country.[41] In 2012 the Obama Administration collected communication records from 20 separate home and office lines for Associated Press reporters over a two-month period, possibly in an effort to curtail government leaks to the press. The surveillance caused widespread condemnation by First Amendment experts and free press advocates, and led 50 major media organizations to sign and send a letter of protest to United States attorney general Eric Holder.[42][43]

Organizations for press freedom

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Powe, L. A. Scot (1992). The Fourth Estate and the Constitution: Freedom of the Press in America. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520913165.
  3. ^ "2017 World Press Freedom Index". Reporters Without Borders. 2017.
  4. ^ "2016 World Press Freedom Index". Reporters Without Borders. 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  5. ^ "India's Free Press Problem: Politics and Corporate Interests Invade Journalism".
  6. ^ a b "Description: Reporters Without Borders". The Media Research Hub. Social Science Research Council. 2003. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  7. ^ Freedom House (2005). "Press Freedom Table (Press Freedom vs. Democracy ranks)". Freedom of the Press 2005. UK: World Audit. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Editor's daughter killed in mysterious circumstances", International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), 2 July 2002
  9. ^ "Ukraine remembers slain reporter", BBC News, 16 September 2004
  10. ^ Eleonora W. Schoenebaum, ed. (1978), Political Profiles: The Truman Years, pp. 16–17, Facts on File Inc., ISBN 9780871964533.
  11. ^ Maria Poptcheva, Press freedom in the EU Legal framework and challenges, EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service, Briefing April 2015
  12. ^ "European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations". European Commission. Archived from the original on 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  13. ^ "British Press Freedom Under Threat", Editorial, New York Times, 14 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Leveson Inquiry: British press freedom is a model for the world, editor tells inquiry". The Telegraph. 14 October 2017.
  15. ^ a b Sanders, Karen (2003). Ethics & Journalism. Sage. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7619-6967-9.
  16. ^ Alison Olson, "The Zenger Case Revisited: Satire, Sedition and Political Debate in Eighteenth Century America", Early American Literature, vol.35 no.3 (2000), pp. 223–45.
  17. ^ John Stuart Mill (1867). On Liberty. p. 10.
  18. ^ Laursen, John Christian (January 1998). "David Hume and the Danish Debate about Freedom of the Press in the 1770s". Journal of the History of Ideas. 59 (1): 167–72. doi:10.1353/jhi.1998.0004. JSTOR 3654060.
  19. ^ "Lo Statuto Albertino" (PDF). The official website of the Presidency of the Italian Republic.
  20. ^ "The Italian Constitution" (PDF). The official website of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. Archived from the original on 2016-11-27.
  21. ^ Jonathon Green; Nicholas J. Karolides, eds. (2009). Encyclopedia of Censorship. Infobase Publishing. pp. 194–96.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  22. ^ "The Freedom of the Press Act", Sveriges Riksdag Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Fortress Europe? – Circular Letter. "FECL 15 (May 1993): The Swedish Tradition of Freedom of Press". Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  24. ^ "The World's First Freedom of Information Act (Sweden/Finland 1766)". Scribd. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  25. ^ freedominfo.org, "Sweden"
  26. ^ "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". Paragraph 2(b): Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 10 January 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Singapore profile". BBC News. 5 September 2017.
  28. ^ Branigin, William (17 December 1990). "SINGAPORE VS. THE FOREIGN PRESS". Washington Post.
  29. ^ "The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002".
  30. ^ "Freedom of the Press". PUCL Bulletin. People's Union for Civil Liberties. July 1982.
  31. ^ "India : Deadly threat from Modi's nationalism - Reporters without borders". RSF.
  32. ^ a b "2018 Press Freedom Index". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  33. ^ "World Press Freedom Index: India down two ranks to 138, one place above Pakistan". Indian. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  34. ^ "India's ranking in press freedom falls to 138". The Hindu. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  35. ^ Faisal, Mohammed (3 May 2018). "World Press Freedom Index Report 2018: India placed only one rank above Pakistan, but why?". India Today. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Press freedom report: media self-censorship on rise in Bangladesh". Dhaka Tribune. 2018-04-25. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  37. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Is Bangladesh's media freedom deteriorating? | DW | 27.07.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  38. ^ "A Bangladeshi Photographer's Arrest Is a Worrying Sign for Press Freedom". Time. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  39. ^ "Tanzania: Bloggers to be charged $900 (average annual income) per year for right to speak". Peril of Africa. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  40. ^ "How U.S. copyright law is being used to take down Correa's critics in Ecuador - Committee to Protect Journalists". cpj.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  41. ^ "U.S. to Promote Press Freedom". New York Times. 17 May 2010.
  42. ^ Hicken, Jackie (15 May 2013). "Journalists push back against Obama administration for seizure of Associated Press records". Deseret News. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  43. ^ Savage, Charlie; Leslie Kaufman (13 May 2013). "Phone Records of Journalists Seized by U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

Sources

  • Gant, Scott (2007). We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-9926-4.
  • Gardner, Mary A. The Inter American Press Association: Its Fight for Freedom of the Press, 1926–1960 (University of Texas Press, 2014)
  • George, Cherian. Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore (2012)
  • McDonald, Blair (2015). "Freedom of Expression Revisited: Citizenship and Journalism in the Digital Era". Canadian Journal of Communication. 40 (1).
  • Molnár, Peter, ed. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Information Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Central European University Press, 2014)
  • Nord, Lars W., and Torbjörn Von Krogh. "The Freedom of The Press or The Fear Factor? Analysing Political Decisions and Non-Decisions in British Media Policy 1990–2012." Observatorio (OBS*) (2015) 9#1 pp. 1–16.
  • Starr, Paul (2004). The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-08193-2.
  • Stockmann, Daniela. Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (2012)
  • Thierer, Adam & Brian Anderson (2008). A Manifesto for Media Freedom. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 1-59403-228-9.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  • Wilke, Jürgen (2013). Censorship and Freedom of the Press. Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG).

External links

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the fable reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin ("un conte satirique contre Staline"), and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but U.S. publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell's lifetime kept it. Other titular variations include subtitles like "A Satire" and "A Contemporary Satire". Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin word for "bear", a symbol of Russia. It also played on the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques.Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany and the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell's own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War.Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.

Basic Laws of Sweden

The Basic Laws of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges grundlagar) are the four fundamental laws of the Kingdom of Sweden that regulate the Swedish political system, acting in a similar manner to the constitutions of most countries. These are the Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), the Freedom of the Press Act (Swedish: Tryckfrihetsförordningen), the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (Swedish: Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen) and the Act of Succession (Swedish: Successionsordningen). Together, they constitute a basic framework that stands above other laws and regulation, and also define which agreements are themselves above normal Swedish law, but subordinate to the fundamental laws, namely the European Convention on Human Rights and several UN and EU treaties and conventions.

The Parliament Act (Swedish: Riksdagsordningen) in usually considered to be halfway between a fundamental law and a normal law, with certain main chapters afforded similar protections as the fundamental laws while other additional chapters require only a simple parliamentary majority.To amend or to revise a fundamental law, the Riksdag needs to approve the changes twice in two successive terms with qualified majorities, with a general election having been held in between. The first vote can be replaced with a referendum.

Censorship by country

Censorship by country collects information on censorship, Internet censorship, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of speech, and Human Rights by country and presents it in a sortable table, together with links to articles with more information. In addition to countries, the table includes information on former countries, disputed countries, political sub-units within countries, and regional organizations.

Censorship in Italy

In Italy, freedom of press is guaranteed by the Italian Constitution of 1948. Censorship in Italy was applied especially during the Fascist Regime of Benito Mussolini (1922-1945).

Egypt

Egypt ( (listen) EE-jipt; Arabic: مِصر‎ Miṣr, Egyptian Arabic: مَصر‎ Maṣr, Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ Khēmi), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, and often assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman Turkish, and Nubian. Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was largely Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority.

From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, and many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, and declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, and occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967. In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, officially withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which has been described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian.

Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, and a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, and is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt overtook South Africa and became Africa's second largest economy (after Nigeria). Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Freedom of speech in Denmark

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Denmark are ensured by § 77 of the constitution:

Anyone is entitled to in print, writing and speech to publish his or hers thoughts, yet under responsibility to the courts. Censorship and other preventive measures can never again be introduced.There's widespread agreement in Danish legal theory that § 77 protects what is called "formal freedom of speech" (formel ytringsfrihed), meaning that one cannot be required to submit one's speech for review by authorities before publishing or otherwise disseminating it. However, there is disagreement about whether or not § 77 covers "material freedom of speech" (materiel ytringsfrihed), the right to not be punished for ones speech. There is agreement that the phrasing "under responsibility to the courts" gives legislators some right to restrict speech, but conversely there have been several court decisions implying that some material freedom of speech does exist. The discussion is about whether the material speech has limits or not, and if so, what those limits are.The major punishable acts are child pornography, libel, and hate speech/racism, which are restricted by the Danish penal code. Like most other countries, Denmark also forbids publishing classified material harmful to state security, copyright-protected material without permission and revealing trade secrets in the civil law.

In 2004, 2005, and 2009 Denmark received a joint first place in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders. Since 2011, Denmark has consistently been in the top-10 out of 179 countries in the index and it was fourth in 2016.

Freedom of the Press (report)

Freedom of the Press is a yearly report by US-based non-governmental organization Freedom House, measuring the level of freedom and editorial independence enjoyed by the press in nations and significant disputed territories around the world.

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 to fund and support free speech and freedom of the press. Its mission includes "promoting and funding aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government", and it runs crowd-funding campaigns for independent journalistic organizations.

The organization's board of directors has included prominent journalists and whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Xeni Jardin, as well as activists, celebrities, and filmmakers. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined FPF's board of directors in 2014 and began serving as its president in early 2016. Jardin left the board in 2016.

Freedom of the press in the United States

Freedom of the press in the United States is legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment is generally understood to prevent the government from interfering with the distribution of information and opinions.

Nevertheless, freedom of the press In the United States is subject to certain restrictions, such as defamation law, a lack of protection for whistleblowers, barriers to information access and constraints caused by public hostility to journalists.

International agencies rank the United States behind most other Western nations for press freedom, but ahead of most Asian, African and South American countries.

Human rights in Ghana

Human rights are "rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled". Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human.Ghana is a sovereign country in West Africa. It was a British colony until the 6 March 1957 when it became the first country south of the Sahara to gain independence.

Human rights in Romania

Human rights in Romania are generally respected by the government. However, there have been concerns regarding allegations of police brutality, mistreatment of the Romani minority, government corruption, poor prison conditions, and compromised judicial independence. Romania was ranked 59th out of 167 countries in the 2015 Democracy Index and is described as a "flawed democracy", similar to other countries in Central or Eastern Europe.

Human rights in Uganda

Human rights in Uganda relates to the difficulties in the achievement of international rights standards for all citizens. These difficulties centre upon the provision of proper sanitation facilities, internal displacement and development of adequate infrastructure. Nonetheless, Uganda is, as per the Relief Web sponsored Humanitarian Profile – 2012, making considerable developments in this area.

After a heavily contested election campaign, President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected into office and his re-election was independently verified by Amnesty International. Despite verification of the election results, Amnesty did express concerns over alleged election violence and freedom of press restrictions.

Human rights in Yemen

Human rights in Yemen are seen as problematic in numerous ways. The security forces have been responsible for torture, inhumane treatment and even extrajudicial executions. But according to the Embassy of Yemen, in recent years there has been some improvement, with the government signing several international human rights treaties, and even appointing a woman, Dr. Wahiba Fara’a, to the role of Minister of the State of Human Rights.Other sources state that many problems persist alongside allegations that these reforms have not been fully implemented and that abuses still run rampant, especially in the areas of women's rights, freedom of the press, torture and police brutality. There are arbitrary arrests of citizens as well as arbitrary searches of homes. Prolonged pretrial detention is a serious problem, and judicial corruption, inefficiency, and executive interference undermine due process. Freedom of speech, the press and religion are all restricted. In 2018 and 2019, numerous sources, including the United Nations described the human rights situation in Yemen as being the worst in the world.

Media freedom in Russia

Media freedom in Russia concerns both the ability of directors of mass-media outlets to carry out independent policies and the ability of journalists to access sources of information and to work without outside pressure. Media of Russia include television and radio channels, periodicals, and Internet media, which according to the laws of the Russian Federation may be either state or private property.

As of 2013 Russia ranked 148th out of 179 countries in the Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. In the 2015 Freedom House Freedom of the Press report Russia scored 83 (100 being the worst), mostly because of new laws introduced in 2014 that further extended the state control over mass media. Freedom House characterised the situation as even worse in Crimea where, after the 2014 democratic referendum, both Russian jurisdiction and extrajudicial means are (according to Freedom House) routinely applied to limit freedom of expression.Multiple international organizations criticize various aspects of the contemporary press-freedom situation in Russia. While much attention is paid to political influences, media expert William Dunkerley, a senior fellow at American University in Moscow, argues that the genesis of Russia's press-freedom woes lies in sectoral economic dysfunction.

Media of Colombia

Media in Colombia refers to media available in Colombia consisting of several different types of communications media: television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites. Colombia also has a national music industry.

Many of the media are controlled by large for-profit corporations who reap revenue from advertising, subscriptions, and sale of copyrighted material, largely affected by piracy.

Media in Colombia is regulated by the Ministry of Communications and the National Television Commission.

Many deregulation and convergence have occurred in an attempt by the government to turn the mass media industry in Colombia more competitive, leading to mega-mergers, further concentration of media ownership, and the emergence of multinational media conglomerates. Critics allege that localism, local news and other content at the community level, media spending and coverage of news, and diversity of ownership and views have suffered as a result of these processes of media concentration.

In 2015 Colombia ranked 128th place on the Reporters Without Borders press freedom scale, making it one of the most dangerous places to be a mass media journalist.

Media of Pakistan

Media in Pakistan provides information on television, radio, cinema, newspapers, and magazines in Pakistan. Pakistan has a vibrant media landscape; among the most dynamic in South Asia. To a large extent the media enjoys freedom of expression in spite of political pressure and direct bans sometimes administered by political stake holders. Political pressure on media is mostly done indirectly. One tool widely used by the government is to cut off ‘unfriendly’ media from governmental advertising. Using draconian laws the government has also banned or officially silenced popular television channels. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has been used to silence the broadcast media by either suspending licenses or by simply threatening to do so. In addition, media is also exposed to propaganda from state agencies, pressured by powerful political elements and non-state actors involved in the current conflict.Media freedom in Pakistan is complicated, journalists are free to report on most things. however any articles critical of the Government or the Military and related security agencies are automatically censored. Anything perceived as blasphemous by the country's Blasphemy laws are also automatically subject to censorship. The blasphemy laws are also used to block website based free media such as YouTube and others.The security situation for journalists in general has deteriorated in decade. At least 61 journalists have been killed since 2010 with at least 14 journalists killed in 2014 alone. A climate of fear impedes coverage of both state security forces and the militant groups.Threats and intimidation against journalists and media workers by state and non-state actors is widespread.In its 2018 Press Freedom Index, Reporters without borders ranked Pakistan number 139 out of 180 countries based on freedom of the press. While Freedom House in its latest report listed the media in Pakistan as "partly Free".

Media of the Philippines

In 2004, the Philippines had 225 television stations, 369 AM radio broadcast stations, 583 FM radio broadcast stations, 10 internet radio stations, 5 shortwave stations and 7 million newspapers in circulation.Some media outlets, such as RPN/IBC (television) and the Philippine Broadcasting Service (radio), are government-run. Most outlets are privately owned.The most widely read newspapers are the Manila Bulletin, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, and BusinessWorld.

Press Freedom Index

The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organisation's own assessment of the countries' press freedom records in the previous year. It intends to reflect the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations, and netizens have in each country, and the efforts made by authorities to respect this freedom. Reporters Without Borders is careful to note that the index only deals with press freedom and does not measure the quality of journalism nor does it look at human rights violations in general.The report is partly based on a questionnaire which asks questions about pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. The questionnaire takes account of the legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offences, the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public media. It also includes violations of the free flow of information on the Internet. Violence against journalists, netizens, and media assistants, including abuses attributable to the state, armed militias, clandestine organisations or pressure groups, are monitored by RSF staff during the year and are also part of the final score. A smaller score on the report corresponds to greater freedom of the press as reported by the organisation. The questionnaire is sent to Reporters Without Borders's partner organisations: 18 freedom of expression non-governmental organisations located in five continents, its 150 correspondents around the world and journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.Based on the data collected, a score and a position or rank, complementary indicators that together assess the state of media freedom are assigned to each country in the final report. Some countries are excluded from the report because of a lack of reliable or confirmed information. Because the questions and calculations upon which the scores are based have changed over the years, scores are only used to compare countries within a given year. To follow a country’s evolution from year to year its rank in the index is compared rather than its score.

Each report intends to reflect the situation during a specific period. The year of the report is the year the report was released and intends to reflect events in the prior year. No report was released in 2011. The 2011–2012 report, labelled 2012 in the table below, was published on 20 January, 2012, and intends to reflect events between 1 December, 2010, and 30 November, 2011. The 2013 World Press Freedom Index was published on 30 January, 2013, and intends to reflect events between 1 December, 2011, and 30 November, 2012.

Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press

Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP) is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media. WIFP operates as both a national and international feminist network.

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