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Mon, 31 Dec 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2007

 
  1. Austria
  2. Belarus
  3. Belgium
  4. EU/Brussels
  5. France
  6. Gambia
  7. Georgia
  8. Greece
  9. Hungary
  10. India
  11. Iraq
  12. Ireland
  13. New Zealand
  14. Pakistan
  15. Russia
  16. Serbia
  17. Somalia
  18. South America
  19. Sudan
  20. Switzerland
  21. Tunisia
  22. Turkey
  23. United Arab Emirates
  24. UK
  25. UN
  26. Uruguay
  27. US
  28. Venezuela
  29. Various/Useful links
 

1. Austria
Author jailed for holocaust denial - A right-wing Austrian writer who fled to Spain after being convicted on Holocaust denial charges 15 years ago must serve his 18-month sentence, Vienna's highest court said Monday. Gerd Honsik, 67, must serve out the sentence handed down in 1992, the court said, rejecting his plea for leniency because of his age and a kidney ailment.

Source – SF Gate.com 3.12.07
http://www.sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? f=/n/a/2007/ 12/03/internatio nal/i115656S54. DTL

Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights suggests to the Austrian authorities taking criminal defamation out of the statute books - The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg today presented his report on the human-rights situation in Austria. Mr Hammarberg underlined the positive steps undertaken by the Austrian authorities to improve the protection and promotion of human rights and welcomed the ongoing constitutional reform process as an opportunity to codify clearly all fundamental rights.

Source – Council of Europe 12.12.07
https://wcd. coe.int/ViewDoc. jsp?id=1225319& Site=DC&BackColo rInternet= F5CA75&BackColor Intranet= F5CA75&BackColor Logged=A9BACE

2. Belarus

Independent newspaper in Belarus faces closure - One of the last independent newspapers in Belarus, Novy Chas, is fighting in court to continue publication, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Source – IJ Net 14.12.07
http://www.ijnet. org/Director. aspx?P=Article& ID=307036& LID=1

Free expression deteriorating in Belarus, mission finds -The government of Belarus has failed to make progress in improving free expression conditions over the past two and a half years, even further stifling journalists and writers, Norwegian PEN and the International Publishers

Source – Data Minsk 13.12.07
http://www.data. minsk.by/ belarusnews/ 122007/147. html

3. Belgium
Welcome to Belgium, where the drive for ‘sexual equality’ is now getting beyond a joke - A government-run equality institution has forced a DVD rental company to stop an amusing advertising campaign on the grounds that it is sexist. But the patronising view of women endorsed by this decision, and the chilling effect the ruling will have on other advertisers, is far more offensive than the highly ironic campaign.

Source – Spiked Online 3.12.07
http://www.spiked- online.com/ index.php? /site/article/ 4142/

4. EU/Brussels

EBU President calls for more action to protect journalists - In a keynote speech to the World Electronic Media Forum on the International Day of Human Rights, Fritz Pleitgen, President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) called for a new initiative to save the lives of journalists, and to roll back a trend towards repression of freedom of expression.

Source – Media Network Blog 11.12.07
http://blogs. rnw.nl/medianetw ork/ebu-presiden t-calls-for- more-action- to-protect- journalists

EU acts over excessive advertising on Italian TV - The European Commission on Tuesday began infringement procedures against Italy for allowing too many advertisements on television in violation of EU rules.
]
Source – EU Business.com 11.12.07
http://www.eubusine ss.com/news- eu/1197390721. 63

5. France
Amazon.com ordered to stop free delivery in France - Amazon.com may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled. The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers' Union (Syndicat de la librairie française), accused Amazon of offering illegal discounts on books and even of selling some books below cost.

Source – NY Times 12.12.07
http://www.nytimes. com/idg/IDG_ 002570DE00740E18 002573AF005B04A4 .html

OSCE media watchdog calls for protection of sources law in France after journalist charged over intelligence leaks – Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today called upon the French government to introduce, as pledged, measures to ensure the protection of journalistic sources.

Source – OSCE 12.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28817.html

6. Gambia

Boost for campaign to end impunity and human rights violations in Gambia - A two-day meeting to bring to the attention of the public, the deteriorating human rights situation in the Gambia, will begin in Accra On Thursday, November 8, 2007.

Source – Media Foundation for West Africa 7.11.07
http://www.mediafou nd.org/index. php?option= com_content& task=view& id=55&Itemid= 45

7. Georgia
OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes reopening of Imedi TV in Georgia - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, today expressed satisfaction with the Georgian authorities' willingness to enable television station Imedi to resume broadcasting.

Source – OSCE 7.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28756.html

8. Greece

Greek neo-Nazi author on trial - A militant Greek neo-Nazi went on trial on Monday over his book denying the Holocaust took place and calling Jewish people "subhuman." The trial, the first of its kind in Greece, saw a group of neo-Nazis making Hitler salutes in the corridors of the courthouse, putting up "Fans of Hitler" posters and handing out anti-Semitic leaflets.

Source – European Jewish Press 4.12.07
http://www.ejpress. org/article/ 22268

9. Hungary

OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes acquittal of Hungarian journalist in secrecy case, urges legislative reforms - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, greeted today's acquittal of journalist Antonia Radi, and called on the Hungarian authorities to reform legislation on disclosing state secrets.

Source - OSCE 19.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28999.html

10. India 

Caught on phone man lands in jail on contempt charges - A Recorded conversation of a man using derogatory language against the Punjab and Haryana High Court today led to his arrest. Amrik Singh, an executive member of the Truck Union, Banur, was taken into custody after a Division Bench of the High Court listened to a recorded conversation between him and a journalist in which the former had used objectionable language against the court.

Source – Express India 14.12.07
http://www.expressi ndia.com/ latest-news/ Caught-on- phone-man- lands-in- jail-on-contempt -charges/ 250177/

Editors Guild to push for changes in contempt law - The Editors Guild of India will campaign for changes in the Contempt of Court Act, as "the present suo motu prosecution of media and journalists by the judiciary is casting a shadow on the freedom of the press."

Source – Times of India 6.12.07
http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/India/ Editors_Guild_ to_push_for_ changes_in_ contempt_ law/articleshow/ 2599026.cms

11. Iraq
Iraqi Kurd Media Bill Draws Protest - Lawmakers in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region approved a measure that would allow courts to accuse journalists of "vague offenses" relating to terrorism or disturbing security, drawing protests Friday from Kurdish journalists and an international media advocate

Source – Associated Press/Google 15.12.07
http://ap.google. com/article/ ALeqM5h3Mzs0ZJ1D XNulqGBGbLhnREZu EQD8THFLEO1

12. Ireland
Tiger Woods’ wife wins libel lawsuit - The wife of golfer Tiger Woods won $183,250 and an apology Friday from an Irish magazine that published an abusive article and a faked nude photo of her. Trevor White, publisher of The Dubliner, conceded that the article - published in September 2006 when Ireland was hosting the Ryder Cup - "was cheap, tasteless, and deliberately offensive. It was also completely untrue."

Source – CBS 8.12.07
http://www.cbs8. com/sports/ story.php? id=111239

13. New Zealand

Noel Rogers v Television New Zealand Ltd - The public interest in allowing a broadcaster to air footage in which a man tells police how he murdered a young woman outweighs his right to privacy, although he was acquitted of the crime, New Zealand's Supreme Court has decided.


14. Pakistan
International Human Rights Day - For human rights activists in Pakistan, 2007 was one of the darkest years in history. Five weeks into their campaign of protests since President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and brought in anti-media laws on 3 November, journalists in Pakistan linked arms with the rest of civil society and observed 10 December as a black day.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88589/

TV channel's petition dismissed - The Sindh High Court dismissed as not maintainable on Tuesday a writ petition against the suspension of Geo television channel transmissions. Advocate-General Masood A. Noorani appeared on court notice and submitted that the petition was not competent under the Provisional Constitution Order, which had suspended Articles 19 (freedom of expression) and 25 (equality of citizens) and the terms of the licence agreed to by the petitioner company Independent Media Corporation and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

Source – Ask Media 4.12.07
http://www.asiamedi a.ucla.edu/ article-southasi a.asp?parentid= 83439

Peruvian High Court Urged to Disclose Officials' Assets Declarations – The Open Society Justice Initiative intervened recently in a case before Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal urging full disclosure of the assets declarations of public officials..
Source – Open Society Justice Initiative 29.11.07
http://www.justicei nitiative. org/db/resource2 ?res_id=103952

15. Russia

Russian journalist right to freedom breached – Courts in the Russian Federation republic of Tyva breached a journalist's right to freedom of expression when they fined him for defamation over a question he posed during a live phone-in television show, the European Court of Human Rights has decided.

The decision advances the idea that public figures have to be more robust in their attitude to publicity than others, said media law specialist Mark Stephens, a partner with London law firm Finers Stephens Innocent.

"It seems to me that the public figure is gaining some ground in the Court," he said.

"This decision is nowhere near the American case of New York Times v Sullivan, but the court is certainly treating public figures as if they should be more robust," he said.

The court had also used the case to emphasise that there had to be a direct link between the allegedly defamatory statement and the person or people who claimed to be affected by it, he added.

Journalist Aleksandr Filatenko applied to the European Court of Human Rights after being fined 12,500 roubles - the equivalent of £250 - over a question he put to election candidates on a programme being broadcast just four days before a general election in December 1999.

The question, phoned in by a reader, referred to an incident in which the Tyva republic's flag was torn from a car which was part of a motorcade for the election candidate for the Otechestvo Party.

Mr Filatenko was sued for defamation by the Edinstvo Movement political party. But when it was realised that a corporate body could not recover pecuniary damages, the party's place in the action was taken over by five people who worked in its headquarters.

There was disagreement about how Mr Filatenko worded the question.

The complainants said he presented the incident as if the Tyva flag was torn down and stamped on by people from the Edinstvo campaign headquarters, while Mr Filatenko denied having made such an allegation
- he only admitted to having specified that the incident happened near the headquarters.

The Kyzyl District Court accepted the claimants' version of how the question was worded.

There was no video recording of the show and the court had to rely on witness testimonies. It accepted statements confirming claimants'
version of the wording of the question from four people directly connected with the Edinstvo Movement, saying it had no grounds "to doubt their objectivity" . But it dismissed statements by Mr Filatenko's colleagues as unreliable because of their connection with the broadcasting company. It rejected a further statement by an independent witness monitoring the media during the electoral campaign, which corroborated Mr Filatenko's statement, simply because it contradicted the Edinstvo witness statements.

The district court concluded that while the question submitted by the viewer was not defamatory, Mr Filatenko's presentation of it amounted to a damaging allegation.

A seven-judge chamber of the European Court of Justice upheld Mr Filatenko's application, declaring that his conviction for defamation violated his right to impart information and impaired his freedom of expression as a journalist.

It reiterated that, as a general rule, any opinions and information aired during an electoral campaign should be considered part of a debate on questions of public interest - there was little scope under Article 10 for restrictions on such debate.

Similarly, punishing a journalist for having worded a question in a certain way, thus seriously hampering the press' contribution to a matter of public interest, should not be envisaged unless there was particularly strong justification.

The timing of the broadcast - just before elections - and its format as a live showed aimed at encouraging lively political debate, necessitated very good reasons for any kind of restriction on its participants' freedom of expression.

The district court had not treated witnesses in the case equally - it had accepted the statements supporting the claimants' case, although those witnesses were all connected with the Edinstvo Movement, but rejected statements from Mr Filatenko's colleagues because they were linked to him and the broadcaster.

The district court also rejected the only statement by an independent and professional media observer simply because it did not corroborate what the Edinstvo witnesses said.

The Court found that the Russian courts had failed to make an acceptable assessment of the facts and did not give sufficient reasons for finding that the applicant's wording of the question was defamatory.

The decision, published on December 6, went on: "The Court next reiterates that, for an interference with the right to freedom of expression to be proportionate to the legitimate aim of the protection of the reputation of others, the existence of an objective link between the impugned statement and the person suing in defamation is a requisite element.

"Mere personal conjecture or subjective perception of a statement as defamatory does not suffice to establish that the person was directly affected by the publication. There must be something in the circumstances of a particular case to make the ordinary reader feel that the statement reflected directly on the individual claimant or that he was targeted by the criticism.

"These principles also apply in the sphere of television and radio broadcasting, as in the instant case."

Although none of the complainants in the district court proceedings was mentioned by name or identified during the broadcast, the district court had accepted that the audience was given the impression that the plaintiffs' reputations were affected.

The reasons on which this finding was premised "do not appear sufficient", the Chamber court said.

Finally, it said, there could be no serious doubts about Mr Filatenko's good faith. He had merely requested a reaction from the show's participants on an event of major public concern, and made no affirmations. He could not be criticised for having failed to verify facts, given the obvious constraints of a live television show. In any event, a representative of the Edinstvo political movement had been present and invited to respond to the question.

Case of Filatenko v Russia

Application no. 73219/01.

European Court of Human Rights, First Section, sitting as a Chamber.

Decision: December 6, 2007.

Press freedom commitments not met during Russian electoral campaign, says OSCE media freedom watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, said today that harassment of media outlets, legislative limitations, and arbitrary application of rules prevented equal media access by the political forces during the 2 December Duma elections in Russia.

Source – OSCE 4.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28670.html

16. Serbia

Government, experts differ on plans to halt minority media privatization - The privatization of media in Serbia was due to completed by the end of the year, except that Milan Markovic, minister for state administration and local self-rule, and Vojvodina Executive Council President Bojan Pajtic, called for halting the privatization of electronic media broadcast in minority languages in Vojvodina.

Source – Black Enterprise 11.12.07
http://www.blackent erprise.com/ yb/ybopen. asp?section= ybsb&story_ id=112807160& ID=blackenterpri se
 
17. Somalia

Independent UN rights expert concerned at expulsion of journalists in Somalia - An independent United Nations human rights expert today expressed concern at recent reports that authorities in the self-declared Somaliland have ordered 24 journalists to leave the region of northern Somalia within the next few days.

Source – UN 7.12.07
http://www.un. org/apps/ news/story. asp?NewsID= 24980&Cr= somalia&Cr1=

Country Enacts New Media Law - Somali legislators meeting in the south-central city of Baidoa debated media rights in the country Saturday and passed a new bill that would regulate the media nationwide. Lawmakers listened to a presentation from a committee composed of parliamentarians and media representatives who helped draft the new bill.

Source – All Africa 8.12.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200712090057. html

18. South America

AMARC concerned by possible external interference in decision to appoint new IACHR Freedom of Expression Rapporteur - AMARC and two other organisations are concerned about alleged external interference in a proposal to select a new Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR).

Source – IFEX 3.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88140/

19. Sudan
Media in Sudan at a Crossroads - Independent media in Sudan still face severe challenges to pursue their right to express themselves freely. Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending the 21 year long civil war between North and South Sudan, opened up space for a more democratic setup for media ownership and practice of journalism, issues such as censorship, harassment and persecution continue to challenge the media.

Source – Arab Press Network 27.11.07
http://www.arabpres snetwork. org/articlesv2. php?id=1679

20. Switzerland

Fine imposed on Swiss journalist - The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has overturned a judgment by a Chamber court that a fine imposed on a Swiss journalist who disclosed part of the contents of a report by the country's Ambassador to the United States on discussion about compensation for Holocaust victims breached his right of freedom of expression.

The ruling, by a majority of 12 to five, reversed a decision in favour of the journalist which reached by a majority of four votes to three by a Chamber court on April 25, 2006.

It followed an appeal to the Grand Chamber by the Swiss government.

The case concerned Zurich-based journalist Martin Stoll, who was fined after disclosing in the press a confidential report by the Swiss ambassador to the United States relating to the strategy the Swiss Government should adopt in negotiations between, among others, the World Jewish Congress and Swiss banks on compensation due to Holocaust victims for unclaimed assets deposited in accounts.

The paper, classified as confidential, was drawn up in December 1996 by Carlo Jagmetti, the then Swiss ambassador to the United States, and sent to the person in charge of the matter at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne. Copies were sent to 19 other people in the Swiss Government and the federal authorities and to the Swiss diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Paris and Bonn.

Mr Stoll obtained a copy.

On January 26, 1997, the Zürich Sunday newspaper the Sonntags-Zeitung published, among other things, two articles by Mr Stoll under the headings "Ambassador Jagmetti insults the Jews" and "The ambassador in bathrobe and climbing boots puts his foot in it".

The next day the Zürich daily the Tages-Anzeiger reproduced extensive extracts from the strategy paper; subsequently, the newspaper the Nouveau Quotidien also published extracts from the report.

In January 1999 Zürich District Court fined Mr Stoll 800 Swiss francs
- about £345 - for publishing "secret official deliberations" . Mr Stoll's appeals were dismissed in December 2000.

The Swiss Press Council, to which the case was also referred, said the publications were legitimate given the importance of the public debate concerning the assets of Holocaust victims.

But in March 1997, it found that by shortening the analysis and failing to place the report sufficiently in context, Mr Stoll irresponsibly made the ambassador's remarks appear sensational and shocking.

The Grand Chamber said in its decision that the issue of unclaimed assets not only involved substantial financial interests, but also had a significant moral dimension which meant that it was of interest even to the wider international community.

In assessing whether the measure taken by the Swiss authorities were necessary, it would take account of how the public interests at stake were weighed up.

Mr Stoll's articles were capable of contributing to public debate on the unclaimed assets, which were the subject of lively discussion in Switzerland at the time, and the public had an interest in publication of the articles.

It was vital to diplomatic services and the smooth functioning of international relations for diplomats to be able to exchange confidential or secret information.

But the confidentiality of diplomatic reports could not be protected at any price; in that connection, the content of the report and the potential threat posed by its publication had to be taken into account.

The disclosure then of extracts from the ambassador's report was liable to have negative repercussions on the smooth progress of the negotiations in which Switzerland was engaged, on account not just of the ambassador's remarks themselves but of the way in which Mr Stoll presented them.

The disclosure - albeit partial - of the ambassador's report was capable of undermining the climate of discretion needed for the successful conduct of diplomatic relations in general and of having negative repercussions on the negotiations being conducted by Switzerland in particular.

The Court therefore concluded that, given that they had been published at a particularly delicate juncture, Mr Stoll's articles were liable to cause considerable damage to the interests of the Swiss authorities.

On the issue of Mr Stoll's conduct, the Court took the view that, as a journalist, he could not have been unaware that disclosing the report was punishable under the Swiss Criminal Code.

It also considered that the content of his articles was clearly reductive and truncated and the vocabulary used tended to suggest that the ambassador's remarks were anti-Semitic.

Mr Stoll had, "in capricious fashion", started a rumour which had undoubtedly contributed to the ambassador's resignation and which related directly to one of the very phenomena at the root of the unclaimed assets issue, namely the atrocities committed against the Jewish community during the Second World War.

The Court reiterated the need to deal firmly with allegations and/or insinuations of that nature.

The Court noted that the way in which the impugned articles had been edited, with sensationalist headings, seemed hardly fitting for a subject as important and serious as that of the unclaimed funds. It also observed the inaccurate nature of the articles, which were liable to mislead readers.

In these circumstances, and bearing in mind that one of the articles was on the front page of a Swiss weekly newspaper with a large circulation, the Court shared the opinion of the Swiss Government and the Press Council that Mr Stoll's chief intention was not to inform the public on a topic of general interest but to make Ambassador Jagmetti's report the subject of needless scandal.

The truncated and reductive form of the articles in question, which was liable to mislead the reader as to the ambassador's personality and abilities, had considerably detracted from the importance of their contribution to the public debate protected by Article 10.

Finally, the fine imposed on Mr Stoll was not disproportionate.

There was no violation of Article 10.

Case of Stoll v Switzerland

Application No 69698/01.

European Court of Human Rights, Grand Chamber, on appeal from Chamber judgment of April 25, 2006.

Decision: December 10, 2007.

21. Tunisa

Journalist given one year jail sentence in “unfair trial” - Five months after human rights lawyer Mohamed Abbou's early release from jail, a Tunisian journalist has been sentenced to one year in prison following an unfair trial, say the Observatory for the Freedom of Press, Publishing and Creation in Tunisia (OLPEC), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88580

22. Turkey

International Human Rights Day In Turkey, new IFEX member the Initiative for Freedom of Expression draws attention to how the courts are celebrating a whole week of human rights:
"by trying academics, politicians, artists, writers, publishers and
journalists for expressing their ideas.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88589/

23. United Arab Emirates
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes - Despite the wise decision issued by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoom-the prime minister and Dubai's governor- not to imprison journalists in press crimes and despite the decision was welcomed widely in local and international circuits and among concerned organizations as they regarded the decision a victory for the press and the freedom of opinion and expression

Source – Arabic Network for Human Rights Information 27.11.07
http://www.hrinfo. net/en/reports/ 2007/pr1127. shtml

Symposium calls for regulation of Arab satellite television - Media specialists from across the Arab world met in Tunis Saturday (November 17th) for an international symposium on the challenges of Arab satellite broadcasting, hosted by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ABSU).

Source – Magharebia 21.11.07
http://www.maghareb ia.com/cocoon/ awi/xhtml1/ en_GB/features/ awi/features/ 2007/11/21/ feature-02

24. UK

Censors battle for Manhunt 2 ban - British censors are seeking a judicial review to block the sale of controversial video game Manhunt 2. Last week developer Rockstar won a hearing at the Video Appeals Committee to have a ban on the title lifted.

Source – BBC 18.12.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/technology/ 7148636.stm

Ban lifted on violent video game - Banned video game Manhunt 2 is set for release in Britain after its makers won an appeal against the censors. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) twice rejected the game earlier this year, saying it demonstrated "casual sadism" and an "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying".

Source – MSN 12.12.07
http://news. uk.msn.com/ Article.aspx? cp-documentid= 6960745

Brighton to ban ‘murder music’ in clampdown on hate artist - Brighton and Hove is to become the first British city to prohibit art that incites racist, homophobic or sectarian violence. Proposals to ban from the city’s pubs, clubs and galleries any exhibition, music or performance that provokes hatred of minorities are expected to be ratified next week as part of a review of the council’s licensing policy.

Source – The Times 6.12.07
http://entertainmen t.timesonline. co.uk/tol/ arts_and_ entertainment/ music/article300 7285.ece

Miller wins biggest payout for invasion of privacy - The Sun and The News of the World were forced to pay the actress Sienna Miller damages yesterday for publishing nude photographs taken against her will during the filming of a movie.

Source – Independent 8.12.07
http://news. independent. co.uk/uk/ legal/article323 3320.ece# 2007-12-08T00: 00:01-00: 00

Dawkins' publisher faces jail over 'atheist manifesto' – Richard Dawkins' best-selling atheist manifesto The God Delusion was at the centre of a growing row over religious tolerance yesterday after the Turkish publishers of his book were threatened with legal action by prosecutors who accuse it of 'insulting believers'.

Source – Independent 30.11.07
http://news. independent. co.uk/europe/ article3209882. ece

Press Complaints Commission criticizes staged photograph - The PCC has criticised Chat magazine for publishing a staged photograph of a murder victim in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief and shock). The picture, which showed a female body wrapped in bin liners to illustrate how the victim was found, was included in a story about a woman's relationship with the murderer. There was no caption making clear that the photo had been staged, and the victim's step-father complained that it had caused considerable distress to the family. One family member thought that the picture was genuine. The magazine accepted that the photograph should have been captioned, and sincerely regretted the distress caused to the complainant' s family.

The Commission found two breaches of the Code. First, the magazine's failure to make clear to readers that the photograph had been staged was a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code. Second, and of greater concern to the Commission, was the fact that the use of this misleading picture, near the anniversary of the death, showed "a total disregard for the family of the dead woman". The magazine's "cavalier approach" in this instance constituted a clear breach of both the letter and spirit of Clause 5 of the Code.
The magazine is set to publish the adjudication in a forthcoming edition. To read the full text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNw==

25. UN

ITU announces first global set of standards for IPTV - The International Telecommunication Union announced the first set of global standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) today. The standards were built with technical contributions from leading service providers and manufacturers from the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and cement ITU’s role as the global leader in IPTV standards development.

Source – International Telecommunications Union 18.12.07 http://www.itu. int/newsroom/ press_releases/ 2007/40.html

26. Uruguay
 
New community media law gets final approval from parliament - Reporters Without Borders hails the definitive adoption of a community media law by the chamber of representatives on 12 December. The press freedom organisation has always supported this law, drafted with civil society help, and regards it as an example for the rest of Latin America, although implementation will not be easy because of the many small radio stations involved.
Source – Reporters without Borders 14.12.07
http://www.rsf. org/article. php3?id_article= 24760

27. US
St. Paul Police Subpoena Reporter's Cell Phone Records - Minneapolis St. Paul police subpoenaed the cell phone records of a KMSP-TV reporter and the phone records of a Ramsey County sheriff's department employee after the reporter obtained an arrest report that should have been public data, the station reported Tuesday night.

Source – Editor & Publisher 12.12.07
http://www.mediainf o.com/eandp/ news/article_ display.jsp? vnu_content_ id=1003684268

One in 6 jailed journalists are held without charge – One in six journalists jailed worldwide are being held without any publicly disclosed charge, many for months or years at a time and some in secret locations, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in a new analysis.

Source – CPJ 5.12.07
http://www.cpj. org/Briefings/ 2007/imprisoned_ 07/imprisoned_ 07.html

Religious Broadcasters Love Removal of Hate-Crimes Provision – Religious broadcasters were celebrating Friday over the removal of a hate-crimes provision from the National Defense Authorization Act.The American Civil Liberties Union supported the provision, saying that it protected free-speech rights while punishing only the hateful conduct.

Source – 12.7.07
http://www.broadcas tingcable. com/article/ CA6510760. html

28. Venezeula

Newspaper will stop being published due to lack of dollars with which to buy paper - The newspaper Correo del Caroní will stop publishing its printed edition on 12 December 2007 because the company that provides it with paper cannot import it any more as it cannot pay its price in dollars. The acquisition of dollars has been restricted and controlled by the Commission for the Administration of Currencies (CADIVI), created by the government in 2003. However, the newspaper will continue to be published on the Internet.

The paper’s editor, David Natera Febres, stated to the newspaper El Universal, that the government’s prohibition of the free acquisition of dollars in order to buy paper is a political strategy against Hugo Chávez’s opponents. Correo del Caroní is critical of the government. It was founded thirty years ago in Ciudad Guayana, southern Venezuela. Natera is president of the Bloque Venezolano de Prensa, an organization that groups most of the country’s printed media.

The first time something similar happened was in 2003, when – after the currency control was implemented – paper was taken off the list of essential products. The government rejected the prohibition after the media protested.

Recommended Action:
Send an appeal requesting the president of the Commission for the Administration of Currencies (CADIVI), Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Antonio Barroso, to explain the motives for the restriction.

Appeals to:
Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Antonio Barroso
Presidente de la Comisión de Administració n de Divisas (CADIVI)
Phones: 58- 212-606.34.99 / 58-212-606.39. 95 /

E- mail: denuncias@cadivi. gob.ve
audiencias@cadivi. gob.ve
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INSTITUTO PRENSA Y SOCIEDAD (IPYS)
Sucre N° 317, Barranco, Lima - PERÚ
Teléfono: 511- 2473308 / 247-4461 / 247-4465
Fax: 511-2473194
postmaster@ipys. org
www.ipys.org

29. Various/Useful Links
a) The European Audiovisual Observatory is seeking a potential partner http://www.obs. coe.int/about/ tender_taxlawcoo pagreement. html

b) The Editors Code of Practice Committee http://www.editorsc ode.org.uk

c) Article 19 – Freedom of Information in Latin America http://www.article1 9.org/work/ regions/latin- america/FOI/

d) Bobcatsss 2008 – Providing access to information for everyonehttp://www.bobcatss s2008.org/






e) Master’s in Public Policy, Public Administration, and Public Administration/ International Development Fellowships John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
The Kokkalis Program strives to support individuals committed to invigorating the public sector in Southeastern and East-Central Europe by providing fellowships for study at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Eligible to apply for a 2008 Kokkalis Fellowship are natives of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey who are applying for one of the following degree programs: Master in Public Policy (MPP); Master in Public Administration (MPA2); Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA); Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID).

Candidates with academic and/or professional backgrounds in one of the following fields are highly encouraged to apply: public policy and/or administration, the non-profit sector, law, economics, social sciences, or related fields. All applicants should demonstrate a strong commitment to public service and the region of Southeast Europe.

Candidates must complete both the online Kennedy School application for admission and Kokkalis
Fellowship application. For further details on the application process, prospective applicants should visit http://www.ksg. harvard.edu/ kokkalis/ fellowships. html.

Information on applying for the Kokkalis Fellowship can also be obtained at the following locations:

Ankara: The Fulbright Commission+90               312 428 4824       
Athens:The Kokkalis Foundation+30               210 610 5451       
Belgrade:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+381 11 361 9344
Bucharest:The Fulbright Commission+40 21 230 7719
Budapest:The Fulbright Commission+36 1 462 8040
Chisinau:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+373 22 408 300
Istanbul: The Fulbright Commission+90               212 244 1105       
LjubljanaU.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+386 1 2005500
PodgoricaU.S. Consulate+381 81 225 417
Sarajevo:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+387 33 445 700
Skopje:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+389 2 31 16 180
Sofia:The Fulbright Commission+359 2 981 8567
Tirana:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+355 4 247 285
Zagreb:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+385 1 661 2200

The Deadline for submission of the Kokkalis Fellowship application is 4 January 2008 .
Deadlines for admission to KSG vary according to the degree program. Applicants should consult the following website for details: http://www.ksg. harvard.edu/ apply/deadlines. htm

f) Experts gather to define indicators for measuring media development http://portal. unesco.org/ ci/en/ev. php-URL_ID= 25675&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC& URL_SECTION= 201.html

g) Reuters Foundation Fellowships http://reutersinsti tute.politics. ox.ac.uk/ fellowships/ reuters_foundati on_fellowships. html

h) Guidelines for journalists covering the Kenyan Elections http://www.article1 9.org/pdfs/ tools/kenya- elections. pdf

i) IPI seeks Press Freedom Manager, Press Freedom Adviser
The International Press Institute (IPI), an international press freedom network of editors, media executives and journalists based in Vienna, Austria, is looking for a Press Freedom Manager and a Press Freedom Advisor.

The Press Freedom Manager plays a key role within the IPI management structure, including managing the work of IPI's Press Freedom Advisers. The Manager is also responsible for overseeing and developing IPI's press freedom programme, including planning IPI's missions and other advocacy/outreach activities and developing press freedom in a particular region. Applicants must have at least three years experience of managing people and projects in the field of human rights, preferably in the areas of press freedom and freedom of expression, as well as a willingness to travel.

The Press Freedom Adviser will carry out IPI's press freedom activities in a particular region. Responsibilities include: advising and reporting on press freedom issues, developing and overseeing projects and programmes in the region, and liaising with donors, local coordinators and sponsors.Applicants should hold a degree and should be able to demonstrate either
experience or in-depth knowledge of the human rights field, preferably in the area of press freedom. A willingness to travel is essential.

For both jobs, applicants should have strong written and spoken English skills at the level of a native English speaker.

To apply, send your CV and a brief covering letter explaining to David
Dadge, International Press Institute, at: ddadge(@)freemedia( .)at

j) Media activities of the Council of Europe
Activities of the Council of Europe Media and Information Society Division - December 2007

You will find below the list of activities carried out by the Media and Information Society Division in December 2007.
I would encourage you to visit our website for additional information:
www.coe.int/ media
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With best wishes,

December 2007

Media literacy development, organised in cooperation with the of the Council of Europe Education and Higher Education Department (DGIV)

5-7 December, Graz (Austria) LH 20763

2nd multilateral consultation meeting on the European Convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of conditional access (ECCA)

10 December, Strasbourg, Council of Europe AVK 20446

Drafting, Translation into Armenian and Publication of a practical handbook on the professional media coverage of elections, organised in cooperation with Internews Armenia, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

10 December FK 20575

Seminar Regulation of on-line media: boundaries of freedom and willfulness' ', organised in cooperation with Internews Ukraine, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

12 December, Kyiv (Ukraine) KH 20980

Seminar on ''Ethical standards and self-regulation of media'', organised in cooperation with Miross Agency, in the framework of the Joint Initiative between the European Agency for Reconstruction and the Council of Europe to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in Serbia

17 December, Belgrade (Serbia) LD 15496

Seminar for judges on media coverage of judicial, organised in cooperation with the International Foundation "Centre for Judicial Studies", in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

18 December, Zaporizhia (Ukraine) LD 20793

Seminar for journalists on media coverage of judicial, organised in cooperation with the International Foundation "Centre for Judicial Studies", in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

19 December, Zaporizhia (Ukraine) LD 21046

Training seminar for media professionals on new formats for a citizen-based coverage of elections, organised in cooperation with Internews Ukraine, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

20-21 December, Yerevan (Armenia) FK 20471

Follow-up written expertise on the revised draft Broadcasting Code for Georgia

December FK 19285

Workshop for the managers and journalists of the Public TV and Radio of Georgia in view of enhancing transparency and independence in its functions, organised in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

December, Tbilisi (Georgia) LD 20595

Round Table with all major stakeholders on amendments to the broadcasting law

December, Tirana (Albania) KH 19141

Expert comments on a first draft of the amended Albanian broadcasting law

December KH 19142Media & Information Society Division
Directorate General of Human Rights & Legal Affairs Council of Europe FR - 67075 Strasbourg
Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 05
http://www.coe. int/media

k) IPYS and Transparency International: Nominations are invited for Award for Investigative Journalism into Corruption Issues in Latin America
http://www.ipys. org/interprensa. php

Posted: Dec 31 2007, 16:44 (/newsletter_December_2007) [ Return to top ]


 

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