Monday, March 31, 2014

Journalist Shot Dead Covering Egypt Clashes



A reporter was killed covering anti-government protests in Cairo. Mayada Ashraf reporting for Al-Dostour newspaper and Masr Al-Arabiya website was shot in the head by an unknown gunman during clashes that followed Egypt’s army chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s announcement that he was contesting the country’s presidential election. 

The Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RWB/RSF) said the last thing Asharaf had reported was that the army was using live rounds to control the protestors. Four other civilians were also killed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bloomberg Abandons "Politically Risky Reporting on China"

Protestors in Paris (Pic. courtesy RSF)


Even as French citizens and international press freedom monitor Reporters without Borders (RSF/RWB) mounted protests against visiting Chinese president, Xi Jinping in Paris, US financial news giant Bloomberg decided the “company was abandoning politically risky reporting on China.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Governments Misuse Advertising To Censor Media



The Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA) in partnership with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has published a study on the misuse of government advertising to censor freedom of expression and information. Titled, Buying Compliance: Governmental Advertising and Soft Censorship in Mexico, the research “demonstrates how Mexico’s federal and state governments deploy financial power to pressure media outlets and penalise critical reporting.”

The report is the third by CIMA in a series of studies on soft censorship or “indirect government censorship, includes a variety of actions intended to influence media – short of closures, imprisonments, direct censorship of specific content, or physical attacks on journalists or media facilities.” The earlier reports were Soft Censorship: Strangling Serbia's Media and Capturing Them Softly: Soft Censorship and State Capture in the Hungarian Media.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

White House To Authorise Phone Companies Hold Call Data



US media reported White House moves to legally transfer responsibility for the storage of call data to telephone companies from the practice today, where it is collected and held by National Security Agency.

Under the proposed system, NSA can access data from the companies if required. Phone companies are authorised to hold records up to 18 months unlike now where NSA holds records it collects up to five years.

Friday, March 21, 2014

What Makes Beijing Paranoid?

Paul Mooney (Pic Business Insider)



Veteran reporter Paul Mooney was denied a visa to enter China to work as a journalist by Beijing in November. He was getting ready to cover China as correspondent for Reuters. He was earlier correspondent for The South China Morning Post.

“China has been my career,” Mooney told the New York Times. “I never thought it was going to end this way. I’m sad and disappointed.”


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Assault On Hong Kong's Media

Banner at a rally for press freedom in Hong Kong (Pic courtesy BBC)


Two senior executives of a media organisation about to launch a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong were attacked in broad daylight on March 19 provoking disturbing questions about press freedom in this semi-autonomous region of China, while memories of the attack on Ming Pao editor Kevin Lao remained fresh in people’s mind.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Never Felt Discriminated For Speaking Russian In Western Ukraine Says Poet

Choices in the Crimean referendum



“In the past five years, I visited the Ukrainian-speaking Western Ukraine six times. I have never seen any nationalists there. I have never felt discriminated against because I spoke the Russian language. Those are myths. In all the cities of Western Ukraine I have visited, I spoke with everyone in Russian—in stores, in trains, in cafes. I have found new friends. Far from feeling aggression, everyone instead treated me with respect.’