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ARCHIVES: Govt policies

January 14, 2011

Chinese Propaganda Department issues orders for 2011

China’s Propaganda Department, which is under the direct orders of the country’s Communist Party, has marked the New Year with a series of directives to the media. Regarded as state secrets, they have been delivered by word of mouth to journalists at meetings where note-taking has been banned. However, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has obtained details of the instructions. They impose a blackout on social and economic problems with a view to “reassuring” the... MORE
January 11, 2011

Panama: Retrograde move to make insulting president punishable by imprisonment

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has urged the National Assembly of Panama to reject a draft law under which anyone insulting the president or an elected official could be sentenced to between two and four years in prison, as it would represent major step backwards for freedom of expression in Panama. The National Assembly is due to resume examining it Tuesday. Called Draft Law 105 and submitted on January 5 by National Assembly president José Muñoz and... MORE
January 8, 2011

IFJ tells Barroso: Defend free speech and media rights

As leading European Union (EU) officials prepare for a mission to Hungary, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), has urged President Manuel Barroso and his team to analyse and change the country's controversial new media law which the Federation claims is a breach of European law and violates principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. EFJ says the EU must examine the law and its implementation, not... MORE
January 7, 2011

Zimbabwe orders media to pay higher fees or face prosecution

The Zimbabwean government on Thursday warned journalists and media organisations operating in the African country that they could be prosecuted if they fail to immediately comply with new registration fees that have soared by as much as 300 percent, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists has condemned the new fees as 'shocking and retributive,' arguing that they 'can only make journalists go underground or stop practicing.' 'Ordinarily fees for... MORE
January 7, 2011

Saudi Arabia announces new Web publishing law

Online newspapers and blogs based in Saudi Arabia will now need to register with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to operate. The new guidelines and rules will be added to the current publishing and printing law. Abdul Aziz Khaja, Minister of Information and Culture, stressed that the list is a tool of regulation – rather than restricting freedom of speech. He said it is in line with the development moves that the media sector is witnessing in Saudi Arabia. He added that the rule... MORE
January 5, 2011

Korean broadcasting regulator under fire

The Korean government has come under fire for its recent selection of new TV channel operators. Critics say it will cause excessive competition in a saturated market and aggravate large conservative newspapers' dominance of public opinion. Experts are also voicing doubt about the selection committee's fairness and correctness in assessing applicants, according to the Korea Herald. The Korea Communications Commission announced last Friday that it picked the country's four largest conservative... MORE
January 5, 2011

People's Daily website IPO may lead to wave of State-run media listings in China

The People’s Daily newspaper, published by the Communist Party of China, may lead a wave of state-run media going public as the government aims to reinvigorate official news organisations in the next five years, according to Bloomberg News. People’s Daily Online Co Ltd., which operates the website, plans to sell 40 million shares at a price range of 15 yuan to 20 yuan a share in an initial public offering in Shanghai, China Daily reported today, citing an unidentified person. An... MORE
January 5, 2011

Hungary unmoved by EU criticism over media law

Hungary's government insisted Tuesday it would not bow to outside pressure and rethink its disputed media law, even after the European Commission expressed concerns and said it would sanction Budapest if necessary -- even during the nation's EU presidency, according to "It isn't necessary to change a Hungarian law just because it is subject to criticism from abroad," Zoltan Kovacs, state secretary for communication, told national radio. "Before criticising, let's wait and see... MORE
January 1, 2011

Wage board recommends 3 times pay hike for Indian journalists

The Wage Boards for working journalists and non-journalists and other newspaper employees in India have recommended 2.5 to 3 times hike in basic pay and fixing the retirement age at 65. To be implemented retrospectively from January 8, 2008, the revised basic pay has been computed after merging the existing basic pay, the dearness allowance and the 30 per cent interim relief that had been already granted, an official statement issued by the government said. The panels have also suggested... MORE
December 27, 2010

FCC adopts ineffective rules in US on Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a US government agency with independent status, voted to adopt an ineffective set of Net Neutrality rules last week after more than a year of negotiations with the various parties concerned, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. The five-member commission’s two Democrats voted with its chairman, Julius Genachowski, in favour of the new rules, while its two Republicans voted against, arguing that only Congress... MORE