The Prosecution of Julian Assange and Its Impact on the Freedom of the Press

1 February 2020 — Defend Wikileaks

On 30 January 2020, at the National Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge in Washington D.C., a panel of experts discussed the Trump Administration’s indictment of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and the impact Assange’s extradition and prosecution could have on the freedom of the press.
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World Press Freedom Day Is a Joke in the Middle East as the West Continues to Destroy Journalism There By Martin Jay

6 May 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation

British and Canadian diplomats hijacking World Press Freedom Day is a really bad joke. But that’s what happened recently in Beirut when this not so auspicious day passed, leaving some in the Middle East wondering if journalism can play any role whatsoever in improving governance, holding states to account and emboldening democracy.

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World Press Freedom Index: “UK remained one of the worst-ranked Western European countries”

22 April 2019 — True Publica

World Press Freedom Index: "an increasingly hostile climate" for journalism

The World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.

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US Justice Department protocols include sweeping attacks on press freedom By Eric London

4 March 2014 — WSWS

In an order published by Attorney General Eric Holder on February 27, the Obama administration granted itself unprecedented powers to spy on and prosecute journalists. The new policy announcement directly violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom speech, or of the press…”

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Police State UK: The NSA spy scandal and the attack on press freedom By Chris Marsden

6 November 2013 — WSWS

Recently released police documents on the August 18 arrest and questioning at London’s Heathrow airport of David Miranda, the domestic partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, are a serious warning on the advanced stage of the decay of democracy in Britain and internationally.

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Bradley Manning (not) on TV Network News By Peter Hart

5 June 2013 — FAIR Blog

manning-nbcThe first day of Bradley Manning’s court-martial trial was, by any rational definition, big news. Manning allegedly shared thousands of documents with the anti-secrecy websiteWikiLeaks. Those revelations made enormous contributions to public knowledge about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and exposed some of theinner workings of U.S. foreign policy.

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Freedom of the Press: Obama Justice Department Secretly seized Associated Press Telephone Records By Barry Grey

15 May, 2013 — World Socialist Web Site

In a brazen and illegal attack on press freedom, the Obama Justice Department secretly subpoenaed the telephone records of Associated Press editors and journalists and tracked ingoing and outgoing calls on at least 20 telephone lines, including the national headquarters of the press agency and its news bureaus in New York, Hartford and Washington DC. Among the lines tracked was the telephone used by AP reporters working out of the House of Representatives press gallery in the Capitol.

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USA: Freedom of the press behind bars

28 November, 2010 —

Should journalists be given more freedom than ordinary people on the streets, especially when it comes to covering protests? That is the question Lori Harfenist, also known as “The Resident”, asks people in New York, following the arrest of an RT crew reporting on a demonstration at Fort Benning military base in the US state of Georgia.

Anti-Venezuela Spokespeople Misrepresent Reality of Press Freedom in Venezuela By Mark Weisbrot

5 August, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

Denis MacShane attacks the British left for defending Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez against an onslaught from the media, “New Cold Warriors,” and right-wing demagogues throughout the world.  His rhetorical trick is to tar the left with a new media law currently being debated in the Venezuelan Congress, which he says “would impose prison sentences of up to four years for journalists whose writings might divulge information against ‘the stability of the institutions of the state.'”

Of course this is a bad law.  There are a number of bad laws on the books in Venezuela, and in fact numerous countries in the region have “desacato” laws which make it a crime to insult the President.  Do MacShane’s targets — he mentions Ken Livingstone and Richard Gott — support such laws?  I would bet serious money that they do not.  So his main line of attack is misleading if not downright dishonest.

Contra el Terrorismo Mediático

MacShane also misrepresents the reality of press freedom in Venezuela.  In fact, there is a much more oppositional media in Venezuela than in the United States, and a much greater range of debate in the major media.  This can be seen simply by looking at the most important media in both countries.  In the U.S., for example, not even the most aggressive right-wing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity would present the idea that the President should be lynched.  But Globovision, one of the largest-audience TV networks in Venezuela, had a show where a guest did just that.

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UK: MPs continue to speak out in police- journalist relations

30 June, 2009 – Editors Weblog


Members of the UK Parliament have spoken out against the police force’s’dismissive’ treatment of journalists covering protests. They issued a reminder that the police should adhere to the guidelines of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) which outlines how the forces should treat registered members of the press.

The study of police-journalist relations was contained in a report investigating policing methods used to contain protesters outside the G20 meeting in London last April. The report was released today by the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

The report maintains that while the police did not deliberately target reporters covering the protests, there were efforts to hinder journalists from passing through police cordons. MPs disagreed with the arguments presented by Met Police commander Robert Broadhurst that ‘when there is a disorderly situation they [journalists] have no more right than the ordinary citizen to come through all our cordons’.

MPs affirmed that this statement was an ‘apparent contradiction’ of ACPO guidelines which state ‘We [the police] should actively help them carry out their responsibilities provided they do not interfere with our’.

The report condemned the use of the Public Order Act to disperse journalists without justification. It warns that the misuse of Section 14 ‘sends out completely the wrong signal of the police’s intentions and does not help the police build strong relationships with the media.’

Equally, the report advised that reporters, particularly freelance journalists should receive more comprehensive briefing before they are to cover large demonstrations. To clarify and ‘codify’ the relationship between police and journalists, it suggested that the briefings given to ‘media members before public protest be published on the website of the police and the National Union of Journalists prior to the event.’

The NUJ has been campaigning for months for senior figures to address the malpractices of front line police officers in their treatment of members of the media. NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff supports the committee’s findings, expressing on the website: ‘This report sends a clear signal to the police that they must address our concerns.’ He made it clear however, that reports and discussion must produce serious changes: ‘If improvements can’t be made then ministerial intervention must be made to ensure the guidelines on dealing with the media are properly implemented.’

The relationship between journalists and the police has been awarded a considerable amount of time in the Commons over past months. It appears that MPs concerned to bring the issue to the board are in favour of furthering the protection of journalists’ rights in face of the security services. The cementing of existing legislation and the clarification of relationships should in theory facilitate the work of reporters covering public disturbances and other acts of investigative journalism.

Sources : Press Gazette
National Union of Journalists