With a registry for news sites and fines for “fake news,” Cambodia’s press freedom slides further

Multi-million-dollar tax bills “pulled out of thin air.” The pruning of an independent newspaper after being sold to party-friendly investors. A final headline declaring “Descent into Outright Dictatorship.” With the closure of the Cambodia Daily in September and the sale of the English-language Phnom Penh Post in May, the country’s press freedom is more than at risk — it’s nearly extinct. Reporters Without Borders ranked Cambodia at 142 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index in 2018 (10 places lower than it was in 2017), saying it “seems dangerously inclined to take on the same path as China.” Now, Cambodia’s media industry is also facing further censorship by the government for fake news posted on websites and social media (with jail time and a USD $1,000 fine as punishment) and a registry maintained by the Cambodia information ministry, the Guardian’s Kate Lamb reported. She Continue reading "With a registry for news sites and fines for “fake news,” Cambodia’s press freedom slides further"

Freedom from what?: It’s time to broaden the definition of a “free press”

In his new book Networked Press Freedom: Creating Infrastructures for a Public Right to Hear, Mike Ananny, a professor at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, critically examines what press freedom means today. An excerpt is below.

What, exactly, is press freedom, and why does it matter? In the popular discourse of the United States, we do not ask this question very often or very deeply. The answers are obvious and almost cliché: the public has a right to know, journalists are the people’s watchdogs, they afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, democracy dies in darkness, and voters need objective information to be good citizens. Popular histories of modern U.S. journalism celebrate heroes who spoke truth to power and brought down institutions — Ida B. Wells, Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell, Edward R. Murrow, I. F. Stone, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Walter Cronkite. Continue reading "Freedom from what?: It’s time to broaden the definition of a “free press”"

Trump’s Latest ‘Fake News’ Attack Has Media in an Uproar: Kim’s Our Friend Now, Journalists Are the ‘Real Threat’

Mere days after his meeting with Kim Jong Un, President Trump has once again decided that the real enemy is the media. It’s not the first time he’s said this, but coming on the heels of the North Korea summit it stunned a lot of people:

CNN’s Jake Tapper Asks: Is Trump Escalating Obama’s ‘War on Leaks’?

On Friday, ex-Senate Intel Committee aide James Wolfe appeared before a judge on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters. His case, as the New York Times noted, “led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.” Yet, as CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on The Lead, attacks on press freedom did not begin with the Trump administration. Instead, according to Tapper, under the Obama administration, the media “called it out all the time.” “The Obama Administration also repeatedly attacked press freedoms and we called it out at the time,” Tapper said. “It was heinous then and it is just as contemptible now.” Then referring the to Wolfe case specifically, Tapper continued on: “Questions we have about this incident include the following: if the Senate intelligence committee staffer was charged with lying and not Continue reading "CNN’s Jake Tapper Asks: Is Trump Escalating Obama’s ‘War on Leaks’?"

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Warns Trump’s Threats Empower Dictators to ‘Beat up Against the Press’

Speaking on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday morning, Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour warned that President Donald Trump‘s attacks on the press have negative implications for the media around the world. Her comments came during a conversation with Brian Stelter where the CNN Reliable Sources host talked about Trump not giving a broadcast television interview for over a year. He then asked Amanpour how Trump’s last week’s news has played out in the international press. Amanpour replied by commenting on Trump’s lack of broadcast television interviews as well as his tweeted out threat to pull press credentials. The latter, she warned, would only empower anti-press despots and dictators across the globe. “I mean, look, we have, for instance, in London, this weekend, the president of Turkey, a U.S. Ally. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming here. This is one of the key abusers of the press in his own country. I mean, Continue reading "CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Warns Trump’s Threats Empower Dictators to ‘Beat up Against the Press’"

Committee to Protect Journalists ‘Awards’ Trump for ‘Undermining Global Press Freedom’

The Committee to Protect Journalists has responded to President Trump‘s trolling of the media with upcoming “fake news” awards by announcing some awards of their own. The CPJ unveiled “Press Oppressors” awards today that doesn’t just criticize Trump, but multiple world leaders for their role in hurting press freedom worldwide. President Trump was “honored” with the award for Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom:
The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as Xi, Erdoğan, and Sisi. Authorities in China, Continue reading "Committee to Protect Journalists ‘Awards’ Trump for ‘Undermining Global Press Freedom’"

Has U.S. press freedom gotten worse under Trump? A new database aims to find the answer

Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to the news media as the “enemy of the American people.” In May, Montana House rep Greg Gianforte body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking a question. In July, reporters were ordered to delete photos and videos they had taken of Trumpcare protestors being arrested in a Senate hallway. It feels as if press freedom has declined in the six months since Trump was inaugurated, but a new site, U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, will show whether things actually are more dire than they used to be. The site, launched Wednesday, “aims to be the first to provide reliable, easy-to-access information on the number of press freedom violations in the United States — from journalists facing charges to reporters stopped at the U.S. border or asked to hand over their electronics.” The site is run out of the Freedom of Continue reading "Has U.S. press freedom gotten worse under Trump? A new database aims to find the answer"