FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
See also the Online Freedom of Speech and Offline Freedom of Speech files for additional stories.
Judith Miller Out of Jail, Says Knight Ridder
"Judith Miller, The New York Times reporter who has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to identify a source, has been released, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on its Web site tonight. Knight Ridder's news service then carried the account to other newspapers."
Full story - Editor & Publisher
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 20:46:06 EDT 2005
Offer journalists same protection government employees have (opinion)
"... Both the government and the press share interests in keeping promises of confidentiality and avoiding the appearance of favoring any side in litigation. Yet only the executive branch currently is empowered by Congress to shelter its employees from the subpoena power of the judicial system, in part through use of the federal housekeeping statute."
Full story - Des Moines Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 08:25:48 EDT 2005
Seven-year prison sentence for journalist Zheng Yichun puts his life in danger
"Reporters Without Borders voiced alarm at a seven-year-prison sentence imposed on journalist Zheng Yichun on 22 September 2005 by a court in Yingkou in northern China following his conviction two months ago for "incitement to subversion.""
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 23 18:14:25 EDT 2005
The age of secrecy has begun
"THOSE who treasure freedom of expression should not be too elated about Australia's climb from 50th to 41st place on the international press freedom index for 2004. The improved ranking still leaves us a quarter of the way down the league table of 167 nations."
Full story - The Australian
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 21 16:34:28 EDT 2005
Threat to Reporter's Privilege Is 'Severe'
"The government threat to journalistic privilege is now as great as it has been since the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press began its annual Homefront Confidential report six years ago."
Full story - MediaChannel.org
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 16:57:31 EDT 2005
Free Press wins partial victory in case
"The Detroit Free Press has won a partial victory in a legal battle to require the U.S. Marshals Service to release photos of criminal defendants who appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit."
Full story -Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 16:49:05 EDT 2005
FEMA cites privacy in newspaper lawsuit for records
"Government lawyers said that the privacy of people who received emergency aid after the 2004 Florida hurricanes outweighs the public's interest in learning how the Federal Emergency Management Agency operated after those storms."
Full story - Pensacola News Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 09:24:59 EDT 2005
UAE: Reporter's Arrest Brings More Press Freedom
"With the brief arrest of Basma al-Jandaly, a reporter with a leading English daily in Dubai grabbing headlines around the world, the issue of media censorship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a hot topic in the Arabic and English press in the country."
Full story - IPS
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 00:23:11 EDT 2005
EFF Wins Unsealing of Secret Documents in Apple Case
"Court documents in the Apple v. Does case were unsealed last week, and they reveal that the software giant sought to subpoena two reporters' anonymous sources without first conducting a thorough investigation inside the company... the First Amendment and the California Constitution require that Apple exhaust all other alternatives before trying to subpoena journalists."
Full story - EFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 16 12:39:56 EDT 2005
87 Journalists Arrested at Nepal Protest
"Nepalese police Friday arrested 87 journalists gathering to protest press restrictions imposed since King Gyanendra assumed absolute power earlier this year. Separately, police arrested 200 protesters at a rally of thousands demanding that democracy be restored."
Full story - Newsday
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 16 12:14:36 EDT 2005
Police seize entire printrun of British National Party newspaper
"Kent Police seized the 60,000-run paper at Dover yesterday as it made its way into the country from Slovakia where it is printed, but the BNP went ahead and produced the edition on its website."
Full story - BrandRepublic
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 12 11:51:29 EDT 2005
Judge supports CNN request to cover Katrina's toll
"At the request of CNN, a federal judge in Texas Friday night blocked emergency officials in New Orleans from preventing the media from covering the recovery of bodies from Hurricane Katrina."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 10 09:15:26 EDT 2005
Yahoo Ordered to Share Reporter's E-Mail
"Yahoo had to comply with a demand by Chinese authorities to provide information about a personal e-mail of a journalist who was later convicted under state secrecy laws and sentenced to 10 years in prison, the company's co-founder Jerry Yang said Saturday."
Full story - news-tribune.net
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 10 09:12:59 EDT 2005
Chen warns of free speech abuse
"TAIWAN - In his latest e-newsletter to the public, President Chen Shui-bian yesterday warned about abuse of free speech and freedom of the press, in reference to two recent controversies that revolved around accusations of "bootlicking."... How freedom of speech and information are used is a key indicator in distinguishing between an advanced democracy and a backward one, the president said."
Fulll story - Taiwan News
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 9 05:10:30 EDT 2005
Top 10 Censored Stories 2005
"... That's just one of the big stories the mainstream news media ignored, blacked out, or underreported over the past year, according to Project Censored, a media watchdog group based at California's Sonoma State University."
Full story - Boise Weekly
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 11:53:15 EDT 2005
Making the Quarter rounds
"... a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media... obvious members of the media... armed only with notepads... the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history."
Full story - MSNBC Nightly News
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 11:08:57 EDT 2005
United States - Police violence against journalists in New Orleans in Katrina aftermath
"Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about police violence against journalists covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, especially about the attacks on reporters and photographers that took place on 1 September. "We understand that the security forces are overwhelmed and we are aware of the great tension and the difficult conditions under which they are having to work in areas hit by Katrina, but it is very worrying that this is reflected in violence against journalists," the press freedom organization said."
Full story - newswire.ca
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 19:30:00 EDT 2005
FEMA accused of censorship
"When U.S. officials asked the media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were censoring a key part of the disaster story, free speech watchdogs said on Wednesday."
Full story - Reuters
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 19:25:44 EDT 2005
Information supplied by Yahoo ! helped journalist Shi Tao get 10 years in prison
"... "Information supplied by Yahoo ! led to the conviction of a good journalist who has paid dearly for trying to get the news out. It is one thing to turn a blind eye to the Chinese government's abuses and it is quite another thing to collaborate.""
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 11:02:48 EDT 2005
Volunteer torn between media's duty, hurricane victims' privacy
"... As a journalist, I believe the public should see, uncensored, the shelter conditions that Hurricane Katrina's survivors are experiencing. So I believe the media should be granted some access to the shelter.
But in my past four days volunteering here, I've also become increasingly attuned to the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion of shelter residents. Many are tired of feeling like a public spectacle."
Full story - Inside Bay area
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 5 17:42:42 EDT 2005
Editorial: A rumour too far
"... this tragic affair places fundamental questions before us all: when does the personal become political, and when is the media duty-bound to report aspects of any public figure's private life, regardless of any personal hurt inflicted?"
Full story - The Australian
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 31 17:25:33 EDT 2005
Uzbekistan: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter sentenced to six months in prison
"Reporters Without Borders today called for the immediate release of Nosir Zakirov, the correspondent of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the eastern province of Namangan, who was convicted of "insulting a government official" and sentenced to six months on prison on 26 August."
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 31 12:48:00 EDT 2005
The media's right to a private life
"Journalists may make a living out of being busybodies, but just lately they have started worrying about privacy. Their own, that is.
Do reporters have the right to belong to political parties? If so, do they have a duty to tell the editor? And do members of the public deserve to know about journalists' political affiliations?"
Full story - New Zealand Herald
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 27 08:31:06 EDT 2005
Homolka's right to privacy trumped
"TORONTO (CP) - The media has every right to seek out and report on Canada's most notorious female ex-con despite her pleas for privacy - but only to a point, media ethicists said Wednesday."
Full story - Canoe.ca
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 25 09:11:46 EDT 2005
Gov. Pataki Asks for Federal Probe of 'Post'
"NEW YORK Gov. George Pataki called for a federal investigation on Monday after transcripts of taped telephone conversations, some involving him and his wife, appeared in a New York City tabloid.
The conversations, all featuring former Pataki patronage dispenser Thomas Doherty, were reported in Monday's New York Post. The newspaper said it received a tape recording of the telephone conversations anonymously."
Full story - Editor&Publisher
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:29:47 EDT 2005
Privacy issue overblown
"There's no reason investigators who finally solved the Lynda Shaw murder can't officially release the killer's name, the provincial privacy watchdog said.
Ontario's assistant privacy commissioner said yesterday he wouldn't object if the murderer is officially identified, a stance countering the OPP's insistence hours earlier that the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act prevents the release of the dead man's name."
Full story - London Free Press
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 13 12:31:12 EDT 2005
"Why did we need to see Alan Craig MacDonald? Learn his name? Unearth his secret?
Lynda Shaw had her privacy, her life, her body, her dignity and her future torn up then tossed away. Virtually every thread of her brilliant life and tortuous death were exposed in the weeks after the 21-year-old university student was raped and murdered in 1990."
Full story - Toronto Sun
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 13 12:26:40 EDT 2005
Feds: FEMA records of no public interest
"Government lawyers asked a federal judge in Fort Myers to rule that it shouldn't have to turn over Federal Emergency Management Agency records sought by three Florida newspapers."
Fulls story - News-Press
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 12:40:18 EDT 2005
Integrity trumps privacy
"This week's court decision granting public access to Portland police and fire disability files should, by rights, be the beginning of a new era of transparency in city government, but don't hold your breath. When it comes to this kind of real accountability, local governments here are notoriously slow learners."
Full story - Oregon Live (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 07:04:56 EDT 2005
Reporters Petition IOC for Freedoms
"A reporters' group petitioned the IOC to pressure China to allow more freedom of expression as it prepares to host the 2008 Olympics.
Reporters Without Borders called China "the world's biggest prison for journalists, cyber-dissidents and Internet users."
It said in addition to blocking hundreds of foreign news Web sites, the public security department keeps foreign correspondents under surveillance and does not hesitate to "detain, threaten or even rough up" those who violate the guide for correspondents working in China."
Full story - AP
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 9 16:04:16 EDT 2005
S.C. high court opens door to release of M.D.'s disciplinary records
"The South Carolina Supreme Court opened the door for the release of disciplinary records of a Hilton Head Island doctor, ruling yesterday that an administrative judge erred by closing a hearing without giving a reason.
The (Hilton Head) Island Packet filed the lawsuit after it was unable to get disciplinary records of Dr. James Johnston, who has been barred from practicing medicine until he completes an alcohol-abuse treatment program. Several news organizations, including the Associated Press, filed briefs in support of the newspaper in the suit."
Full story - FirstAmendmentCenter
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 9 16:02:03 EDT 2005
Native American press freedom: a developing story
"In July 1997 Dan Agent learned he would be fired from his position as editor of the Cherokee Nation's tribal newspaper - the Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate. His crime? Running front-page stories that detailed allegations of misconduct against then Principal Chief Joe Byrd.
The problem Agent faced was that his employer was none other than the tribal government itself."
Full story - FirstAmendmentCenter
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 8 10:23:30 EDT 2005
Tragedy reveals conflicts over media's watchdog role
"... At its best, the media's role as a watchdog of society can ferret out wrongdoing that goes undetected by other institutions. It can expose corrupt politicians, uncover accounting frauds at big corporations and spring the wrongly convicted from jail.
But the competitive pressures also drive various media outlets to chase every detail of a story - sometimes even the trivial and the deeply personal. That can erode the media's credibility and the public's faith in the media's ability to serve as a watchdog."
Full story - Grand Forks Herald
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 7 16:37:19 EDT 2005
Pentagon agrees to issue photos of coffins of war dead
"Under the terms of a legal settlement announced on Thursday, the Pentagon will make available "as expeditiously as possible" some photographs of the coffins of service members killed in Iraq. The agreement runs counter to a long-standing Pentagon policy that bars the public release of such photographs. But in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, the Pentagon has already released hundreds of such photographs this year, and it agreed under the settlement to continue to do so."
Full story - AZCentral
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 7 04:11:33 EDT 2005
Private lives that even the tabloids cannot reach
"The astonishing case of the actress who may or may not be pregnant has confirmed what everyone in the newspaper industry has believed for some time: celebrity requirements for protection of privacy are spinning out of control."
Full story - The Independent
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 7 04:03:07 EDT 2005
China Tightens Censorship of Foreign Broadcasters
"In an attempt to "safeguard national culture," China said Wednesday that it will refuse to allow any new foreign-owned television satellite channels into the country and that it would tighten controls on the 31 international broadcasters already operating in China.
In a statement announced by the state news agency Xinhua, China's Culture Ministry said the country "will not again allow a foreign satellite TV station to have landing rights in the country.""
Full story - Christian Post
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 6 11:54:58 EDT 2005
Nepal: Radio station threatened with closure for broadcasting news
"Declaring its full support for the management and journalists of the Kathmandu-based radio station Nepal FM 91.8, Reporters Without Borders today called on the Nepalese government to immediately withdraw its threat to close the station unless its stops broadcasting news."
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 11:42:49 EDT 2005
Beijing to clamp down on foreign media
"China disclosed on Wednesday that it had frozen approvals for foreign satellite broadcasters entering its market and would strengthen restrictions on foreign television programs, books, newspapers and performances in an effort to exercise tighter control over the country's cultural life."
Full story - International Herald Tribune
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 09:23:39 EDT 2005
Jackson case secrecy sets precedent
"A recent court decision allowing the Michael Jackson case to stand as a precedent on secrecy could shut off public access to information in high-profile cases, some legal experts say.
In a one-sentence decision Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied a request by news organizations, including The Associated Press, to "depublish" the ruling -- meaning it will stay on the legal books and can be used by judges and lawyers on the issue of sealing documents in other cases. The ruling Supreme Court was made available Friday."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 2 15:45:42 EDT 2005
A case that pits privacy against public interest
"The case of Lee Sang-ho, an MBC journalist who broke the news about a 1997 political scandal based on private conversations secretly recorded by intelligence agents, promises to become a sticky legal conflict between the rights to individual privacy and freedom of expression and the public interest."
Full story - Joong Ang Daily
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 1 11:44:15 EDT 2005
Other resources on FREEDOM OF THE PRESS:
Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents (Reporters without Borders)
Ongoing confidential-sources cases (FirstAmendmentCenter)
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
First Amendment Center
Privacy Watch Index
FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
From cdt.org: The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...Read more
FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...Read more
Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...Read more
Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...Read more
Court strikes down bank privacy law
Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...Read more
FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...Read more
Another data security bill in the works
Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...Read more
Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...Read more
Touch-screen voters feel exposed
... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...Read more
Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...Read more