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ARCHIVES: Govt policies

September 17, 2010

France: Bill would sacrifice online freedom for sake of security

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expresses concern over the negative impact that a French national security bill known as LOPPSI 2 could have on online free expression. The version of the bill that was passed by the Senate on first reading on September 10 envisages an ineffective and dangerous online filtering system that could jeopardise the work of journalists and bloggers. Under the Senate-amended version of article 4 (on combating online porn and... MORE
September 15, 2010

Pentagon loosens restrictions for press in Guantanamo

The Pentagon has agreed to revise some of the rules that have restricted what journalists are free to report on from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, resolving a conflict that peaked in May when four reporters were expelled from the naval base there. The new rules contain three major changes: Journalists will no longer run the risk of being expelled or barred from Guantanamo because of information they report that was obtained in the course of news gathering outside Guantanamo. The Pentagon's public... MORE
August 31, 2010

Argentinian Bill may end up regulating newsprint

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has criticiced a decision by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner to send a bill to Congress that would make the production, distribution and sale of newsprint a matter of "public interest," calling the action "unconstitutional" and an attempt to "control the media." In a nationwide broadcast Tuesday last, Kirchner delivered the contents of a report, titled "Papel Prensa: The Truth", about the paper manufacturer that is owned by the government along... MORE
August 21, 2010

Chad: Parliament adopts new media law that is still too repressive

Chad's national assembly has passed a media bill that the government resubmitted at the start of the month. Adopted on Thursday by 82 votes for, 2 against and 11 abstentions, the new law suppresses its predecessor's provisions for prison sentences for insults and defamation and the crime of insulting the president, but it introduces sentences of 6 to 12 months in prison, fines of 100,000 to 1 million CFA francs (150 to 1,500 euros) and a publication ban of up to six months for inciting racial... MORE
August 9, 2010

Journalists association in China calls for better protection for reporters

The All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) wants better protection for journalists' rights after a reporter was beaten when attempting to interview a stand-up comedian, according to People's Daily . "It is imperative to safeguard journalists' legitimate rights to interview and stop any misconduct that interferes with journalists' legitimate interviews," said a brief announcement posted on the ACJA's website on Saturday. "To have protection in accordance with the law is the legitimate right of... MORE
August 2, 2010

Japan fallout: Foreign journalists can now apply online for accreditation

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has initiated steps to simplify accreditation procedures for foreign journalists in India, according to the Times of India . They will now be able to apply for it online from their respective countries even while applying for a visa, officials said. "We have taken steps to cut down on the time taken for security clearance," said Neelam Kapur, principal director general, PIB. Since accreditation process for Indian journalists was already available online, it... MORE
July 30, 2010

Mexican state of Veracruz decriminalises defamation

ARTICLE 19 has welcomed the bill to decriminalise defamation in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. The approval of the bill on July 22 by the local Congress, actively promoted by ARTICLE 19, significantly advances efforts to persuade the Mexican government to fully decriminalise defamation nationwide, in accordance with Human Rights Committee’s observations. Mexico is one of the most restrictive and dangerous countries in which to practice journalism. Seventeen out of 32 states continue to carry... MORE
July 26, 2010

Liberian House of Representatives passes Freedom of Information Law

The House of Representatives of Liberia has passed into law the Liberia Freedom of Information Law, according to the Monrovia-based Centre for Media Studies and Peace Building (CMSPB). The House, during its regular plenary session held on July 22, unanimously voted to pass the FOI law which has been in the Legislative room for over two years. The passage of the law by members of the House of Representatives was preceded by intense lobbying and advocacy by members of the Liberia Freedom of... MORE
July 24, 2010

Hugo Chávez’s government tightens its grip on the media

President Hugo Chávez's government is about to acquire a majority stake in Globovisión, a privately-owned TV station that is critical of his administration. By acquiring the shares of some of the station’s directors, the government says it will be able to control 48.5 per cent of its capital, according to Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF). Federal Bank chairman Nelson Mezerhane stepped in last month at the government’s request and bought 20 per cent of Globovisión’s shares, plus another 5.8 per... MORE
July 23, 2010

Berlusconi's coalition backs down on Italy wiretaps bill

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition backed down on a controversial wiretaps bill Thursday as its deputies approved a watered-down version in a parliamentary committee vote, Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported. The initial bill would have banned the publication of transcripts in the media and called for up to two years in jail and fines of up to 464,700 euros (600,000 dollars). It drew fire from the opposition, the European Union and even some of Berlusconi's... MORE