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Archives 2005-1014: Features

December 6, 2008

As the high voltage drama raged on in Mumbai, they became hooked to terror, 24/7

Within minutes of the first shots being fired at the CST railway station, commenced a non-stop television coverage of the 62-hour high voltage drama in Mumbai that shocked the world. Reporters flooded the four conflict zones, and developments were telecast as they unfolded. As people stayed glued to television sets, the gunbattles, the deaths, the widespread public anger made the Mumbai terror attacks the biggest thing ever to have been witnessed in Indian televison history. At least, in terms... MORE
December 5, 2008

Draft amendments to Kazakh laws a small step forward, but offer no path to real change

The Kazakh government's human rights record, including free speech issues, is inconsistent with standards embraced by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose chairmanship the former is to take over in 2010. This, says Human rights Watch, risks undermining the integrity of the institution's human rights principles. One of the key problem areas is the government's rigid approach towards media, says HRW in a 55-page report 'An Atmosphere of Quiet Repression: Freedom... MORE
December 4, 2008

Online journalists now most jailed worldwide, China remains leader in imprisoning scribes

More Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 45 per cent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ's prison census. CPJ's survey found 125 journalists in all behind bars on December 1, a... MORE
December 2, 2008

Kenya proposes draconian broadcasting law for regulating news media content

A new law that, if passed, will allow the Kenyan government to determine the content, style, manner and schedule of broadcasting, has drawn fierce resistance from the media industry. The Kenya Communications Amendment Bill 2008, which is now in its final stages of the legislative process in Kenya's Parliament, proposes to set up a communications commission appointed by the government to issue licences to broadcasters and a raft of heavy fines and prison sentences for various offences. The media... MORE
December 2, 2008

Shut out

Do you remember the BiTV lockout? Something worse than that happened on November 30, 2008. Sakaal Times , the English daily brought out in May (renaming the existing Maharashtra Herald ) by the Sakaal group of Pune (of the Marathi daily Sakaal fame) and helmed by wannabe media baron Abhijit Pawar (nephew of Nationalist Congress Party-NCP leader, Union Minister and former Broard for Control of Criket in India- BCCI president Sharad Pawar), suddenly decided to close down its Delhi operations... MORE
November 30, 2008

Journalists facing increased physical threats and harassment in Southeast Europe

There has been a string of threats issued against journalists in Southeast Europe, rendered particularly ominous by violent attacks on journalists throughout 2008. Last week, Drago Hedl, a columnist for the Croatian Jutarnji List, received an SMS threatening to "massacre" him, just as a parliament member accused of war crimes was holding a press conference during which he singled out for criticism Hedl's writings. Other threats include those made against Hrvoje Appelt, a Croatian journalist for... MORE
November 30, 2008

Anti-terrorism law in Swaziland an excuse to suppress freedom of expression

Serious concerned have been raised about the constricting environment the government of Swaziland is imposing on freedom of expression. Under a Suppression of Terrorism Act that has been passed by the Parliament in May 2008, Swazi journalists, political activists and human rights defenders have apparently become persona non-grata, battered and/or arrested. The Swaziland Act is the latest in a series of anti-terrorism laws that have been enacted since the September 2001 attacks on the World... MORE
November 30, 2008

Nepal: Series of attacks hints at "sustained and deliberate assault on freedom of expression"

The escalating number of violent attacks on certain parts of the Nepali media can no longer be regarded as hooliganism. Instead, they point to an organised assault on freedom of expression in Nepal, free speech group ARTICLE 19 has asserted. On the morning of October 24, the CEO of leading media house Himalmedia was attacked on his way to work. Just a few weeks later, bundles of Himalmedia's newly printed Himal Khabar Patrika were doused in petrol and burned. On November 16, twenty-five men... MORE
November 26, 2008

Foreign journalists fight ban, Israeli ministries at loggerheads over entry into Gaza Strip

With Israel continuing its blockade of the Gaza Strip, news reportage has become a casualty. For almost three weeks now, foreign journalists have been denied entry into the area. The Tel Aviv-based Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents the collective interests of the international media covering the news in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, has now filed a Supreme Court petition seeking to overturn a government ban on journalists entering the Gaza Strip, even as the Israeli... MORE
November 14, 2008

Zambia sees rise in media freedom violations during presidential by-election

There has been a sharp rise in the number of media freedom violations in Zambia recorded during the just ended presidential by-election of October 30. During the pre and immediate post election period, between September and November 2008, there were 16 media freedom violations compared to six between January and August 2008, says the Zambia chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). The violations included physical harassment, threats of legal suits and dismissals, ejections from... MORE