In the contemporary world of journalism, female reporters face a double jeopardy: they are increasingly targeted both as journalists and as women-- particularly in repressive regimes and misogynistic societies.
Have you ever heard of a workers’ strike or similar labour action for press freedom? And how long do you think it lasted? A day? A week? A month? And where and when do you think this happened?
Workers strike for press freedom
Six decades ago, in 1961, Said Zahari
, the editor of the Malay language daily, Utusan Melayu
, led a strike of journalists and other employees. The protracted strike, in both Malaysia and Singapore today, was for press freedom rather than employee welfare.
Every time a woman journalist receives threats of physical and sexual violence, cyber attacks and surveillence, doxxing, public humiliation, damage to her professional & personal credibility, the driving forces behind these intents are deeply rooted misogyny, sexism and abuse of power.
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY: a reminder to governments of their commitment to press freedom. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme: “Information as a Public Good.”
When Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government in February, one of its first actions
was to further squeeze the already restricted free flow of information in the country. It obstructed news stations, temporarily shuttered phone and internet access, and blocked social media platforms.
Edmund Burke called the press the fourth estate, the fourth pillar of democracy, with an oversight role on the remaining three pillars – the legislature, executive and the judiciary. In an ideal world, this fourth estate would have unimpeded access to the other three pillars so that the citizenry could be kept informed at all times. This freedom was conceived to be so sacrosanct that many countries have included it as a fundamental right, e.g., the US Constitution enshrined it as the very first amendment.
Access to accurate information is vitally important during the pandemic, so that people can understand how to protect themselves and their families, and to hold their governments to account for their response to the health emergency.
Spyware’s repeated use to target journalists and those close to them poses an existential threat to the privacy required for press freedom to flourish. Without the ability to privately communicate with sources, conduct research, and compile information, journalists are hampered in their ability to keep the public informed and hold the powerful to account.
Investigative journalist and media executive Maria Ressa of the Philippines has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, following the recommendation of an international jury of media professionals. The Award Ceremony will take place on 2 May in Windhoek, Namibia, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference
, and be streamed online.
is all that you can't say.
Years gone by and still
words don't come easily,
like forgive me, forgive me.
The World Press Freedom Day
on the 3rd of May is an occasion for celebrating humanity. Language enables us to transmit our thoughts in sound – a means of communication developed through our unique brain, combined with our capacity to control lips, tongue and other components of the vocal apparatus. Over time, humans have also acquired skills to commit our language to writing.
Independent journalism is facing a growing crackdown one year into the COVID-19 pandemic as governments around the world restrict access to information and muzzle critical reporting, media and rights watchdogs have warned.
Gender stereotyping in the media has a significant impact on how women and gender minorities are perceived. In turn, it affects their opportunities to fully and effectively participate in public life.
Two human rights groups have called on the military in Myanmar to release journalists arbitrarily jailed and allow them to work without harassment and prosecution.
Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) told IPS that they will double down on those demands until all journalists are released and the operating licenses of newsgroups are restored.
“Email and social media access attempts, extremely aggressive comments, photo montages, massive defamation and intimidation campaigns on WhatsApp. This is what women journalists are facing for doing our job,” said Brazilian journalist Bianca Santana.
Our deadliest nightmare is back: Political assassinations in Lebanon is back with the horrific murder of Luqman Slim, a vocal critic of Hezbollah. Slim’s assassination is the first killing of a high-profile activist and outspoken journalist in years. What do the political assassinations in Lebanon tell us about the history of this country?
Myanmar’s State Counsellor
was recently deposed and arrested along with other leaders of her ruling party – National League for Democracy
(NLD). The Leader of Tatmadaw
, the Military, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that elections in November last year had been fraudulent and in an “effort to save democracy” the military would now rule the nation for at least one year, until new elections could be organised. Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of “importing ten or more walkie-talkies” and of violating the nation’s “Natural Disaster Law”. Some might agree that Suu Kyi deserves to be locked up. As an admired role model and Nobel Peace Prize winner, she was globally depicted as an almost saintlike being, canonized in movies like Luc Bessons’s The Lady
. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, watched the movie before she in 2011 visited Suu Kyi, who by then had spent altogether fifteen years in house imprisonment, deprived of the company of an ailing and eventually dying husband and two sons. In spite of her forced isolation she became an eloquent representative for her compatriots’ resistance and perseverance under almost fifty years of military dictatorship.
Celebrated Indian writer, Member of Parliament and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor in a conversation with The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam on the occasion of the newspaper's 30th anniversary yesterday spoke eloquently on media freedom, regional politics and democracy on a virtual platform.
In response to Bangladesh authorities’ recent filing of charges under the Digital Security Act against photographer Shafiqul Islam Kajol, writer Mushtaq Ahmed, and cartoonist and Kabir Kishore, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
Over the years, Turkey has survived three Coup d'état in which its military forces took power, in 1960, 1971 and 1980. The coup in 1997, was carried out in a “post-modern way
”, where generals sat down with the then prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan and forced him to resign. However the turning point in Turkey has been the failed coup attempt in July 2016, which has till date been one of the bloodiest coup attempts in its political history
, leaving 241 people killed, and 2,194 others injured.
As senators plan for an impeachment trial in which former President Donald Trump is accused of inciting his supporters
to mount a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, global concern is growing about threats of violent unrest in multiple countries
, including the U.S.
The United Nations reports the proliferation of dangerous speech online
represents a “new era” in conflict.