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The state of freedom of the press in the world in a series of tweets

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, January 12th, 2015 - 31 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Europe, International, journalism, Media, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Charlie Hebdo world leaders

An estimated one and a half million people have marched in France in support of freedom of the press and in remembrance of those who died at the Charlie Hebdo siege. The march included a number of world leaders whose commitment to freedom of the press could be questioned. In a series of tweets which are going viral Daniel Wickham, a member of the Middle East Society attached to the London School of Economics Student Union, is pointing out the commitment of some of the participants to freedom of the press may not be as good as could be hoped for.

Let us hope that this new found enthusiasm for freedom of the press causes an improvement in standards throughout the world.

31 comments on “The state of freedom of the press in the world in a series of tweets ”

  1. karol 1

    Well spotted. I woke to Al Jazeera’s coverage of the march this morning. I was saddened that other violence and press censorship doesn’t get so much opposition and news coverage.

    • tracey 1.1

      sadly the media are at their most ardent and vigilant when their own are attacked… remember Andrea Vance’s treatment prompted some outrage…

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1

        And world leaders are at their most ardent when they can make a statement against Islam. I don’t see a good ending to any of this.

        • tracey 1.1.1.1

          I cant see a good end for the poor of the world, the oppressed of the world, the women and children of Africa, middle east and other nations closer to home…

          this is being used as a big old excuse by some powerful nations… to do what exactly??

  2. Karen 2

    Fantastic post Mickey. When I first heard of the world representatives marching for press freedom I was appalled at the hypocrisy of some of those marching.

    The tweets listing the various atrocities is very chilling. i

    • mickysavage 2.1

      It is quite an art form to construct a narrative out of a series of tweets. The 140 characters applies real discipline on the style of writing. One series I previously posted on was Giovanni Tiso’s series on dirty politics (http://thestandard.org.nz/giovanni-tiso-on-dirty-politics/)

      • Karen 2.1.1

        Yes, Giovanni Tiso’s writing is always brilliant, whether it is twitter or his blog.

        I have been trying to wean myself off reading twitter because I have been spending too much time on it, but there is no way I will stop reading Tiso every day.

    • weka 2.2

      “Fantastic post Mickey”

      +1

      this is why despite its limitations social media is awesome and a saving grace.

      Just hoping there is no-one from the National govt there.

  3. Ad 3

    Pathetic journalists expecting that irony will help anything like something out of America World Police. Levelling the charge “hypocrisy” at a political leader lets everyone off the hook.

    – The journalist can say “job done”.
    – Politician doesn’t give a damn, fronts the media spectacle – job done.
    – The public viewing the spectacle of news shrugs and goes – told ya so. Job done.
    Get me another beer will ya honey?

    I don’t think people are naming yet how different this European response is to either the 9/11 U.S. soil attack responses, or the London bombings, or indeed the Spanish train bomb.

    No-one of course is yet proposing joining hands around the Pentagon and chant until it levitates, to be sure. (Been tried a few years ago anyway).

    But this is a different kind of response.
    Sure it’s orchestrated for media. (Duh!).
    Sure the values of all participants, including politicians, are uneven ( well duh!)

    A real question is: unlike the last ten good-sized crises, can the left build on this 1.5m march and make it a project that changes things for good?

    Only the cynical and the journalists rule it out.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      The march was organised by the power elite, as a photo op for the power elite, in order to reinforce the narrative of the power elite.

      What exactly do you think the Left should “build on”?

      • Ad 3.1.1

        They should build on the (twisted, compromised) conscience and greed of the power elite. That’s what we usually do.

  4. Ross 4

    Oops. Forgot, British Government smashing Guardian computers over Snowden leak. Oh, and detaining Greenwalds partner. Anyone from America there? Snowden, Chelsea Manning, James Risen, Aaron Swarz. Funny how condemnation falls on the most obvious culprits. Seems we’re still blind to some countries where arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture and death can befall those who speak the truth. Like, America and Britain.

    • tracey 4.1

      but that is different, isnt greenwald a “henchman”, not a journalist?

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11324113

    • weka 4.2

      Actually the British government oversaw the Guardian smashing its own computers. Nothing so tawdry as doing the smashing themselves 😉

      Detaining Greenwald’s partner was particularly shameful.

      Am wondering now if any govt should have representatives at the rally.

      • Murray Rawshark 4.2.1

        I can’t think of one that deserves to be there for the stated reasons. If what they’re marching for is an Axis against Islam, yeah, but they’re not there for press freedom.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.3

      Julian Assange.

      • Ross 4.3.1

        Indeed, CR. You prompted me to look, so I did. As in the original list of tweets we condemn the usual suspects. In response I listed the usually cited victims of oppression. But there have been others. What started as a fact check became some ghastly responsibility to record, one by one, each individual act of State sanctioned terror on American and British journalists over the last few years. These are ordinary working journalists and photographers going about their lawful duty to observe, record and report. These were important events like Occupy Wall Street, Earth Day and NATO demonstrations, and the Ferguson shootings. Arrested. Assaulted. Detained. For being journalists. I list them below, each to their own line so they don’t get absorbed into a category: Arrested Journalist, that can be used as a label to dismiss them. Each to their own line because each is a death, the end of our freedom.

        Kristyna Wentz-Graff
        Lucy Kafanov
        Ryan Harvey
        JA Meyerson
        Keith Gessen
        Julia Reinhart
        Molly Crabapple
        John Bolger
        John Farley
        Natasha Lennard
        Kristen Gwynne
        Stephanie Keith
        Marisa Holmes
        Bob Plain
        Peter Harris
        Jonathan Meador
        Malina Chavez-Shannon
        Jonathan Foster
        Ian Grahan
        Susie Cagle
        Alisen Redmond
        Judith Kim
        Stephanie Pharr
        Katelyn Ferral
        Josh Davis
        Julie Walker
        Jared Malsin
        Jennifer Weiss
        Matthew Lysiak
        Karen Matthews
        Seth Wenig
        Justin Bishop
        Patrick Hedlund
        Paul Lomax
        Doug Higginbotham (working for TVNZ)
        Peter Harris (again)
        Faith Laugier
        Mark Taylor Canfield
        Yasha Levine
        Tyson Heder
        Calvin Milam
        Matthew Hamill
        Carla Murphy
        John Knefel
        Nick Isebella
        Justin Wedes
        Paul Sullivan
        Lorenzo Serna
        Jeff Smith
        Charles Meacham
        Renée Renata Bergan
        Stanley W. Rogouski
        Victoria Soble
        Zach Roberts
        Jennifer Dworkin
        Elizabeth Arce
        Alexander Arbuckle
        Adam Katz
        Susie Cagle
        Gavin Aronsen
        John Osborn
        Vivian Ho
        Kristin Hanes
        Yael Chanoff
        Kim Beavers
        Christina Kay
        Luke Rudkowski
        Carlos Miller
        Jerry Nelson
        Alex Darocy
        Bradley Stuart Allen
        Jacquie Kubin
        Elizabeth Arce
        Shawn Carrié
        Steve Rhodes
        Daniel Arauz
        Jessica Chornesky
        Jenna Lane
        Amber Lyon
        Kenneth Lipp
        Maximilian Braverman
        Joshua Lott
        Taylor Hall
        Jess E. Hadden
        Scott Olson
        Kerry Picket
        Ryan Reilly
        Wesley Lowery
        Ansgar Graw
        Frank Herrman
        Lukas Hermsmeier
        Ryan Devereaux
        Coulter Loeb
        Robert Klemko
        Rob Crilly
        Neil Munshi
        Denise Reese
        Trey Yingst
        Mary Moore
        Bassem Masri
        Bilgin ƞaƟmaz
        Tom Walters
        Pearl Gabel
        Matthew Giles
        Ryan Frank
        Antonio French
        Umar Lee
        Alan Lodge
        Ben Gibson
        David Hoffman
        John Warburton
        Nick Cobbing
        John Fraser Williams
        Roddy Mansfield
        Simon Chapman
        Ben Edwards
        Ursuala Wills Jones
        Justin Cooke
        Paul Smith
        Campbell Thomas
        Martin Palmer
        Maggie Lambert
        John Harris
        Rob Todd

        https://storify.com/jcstearns/tracking-journalist-arrests-during-the-occupy-prot
        http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/264273/which-journalists-have-been-arrested-in-ferguson/
        http://www.mega.nu/ampp/www.bilderberg.org/nuj.htm

        • greywarshark 4.3.1.1

          Thats some List Ross. A lot of work putting thst up. Shocking at seeing the numbers. Thanks.

  5. Paul 5

    https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/turkey#.VLMhYCuUdIE

    ‘The Turkish authorities continued to use the penal code and an antiterrorism law to crack down on journalists and media outlets in 2012, leading Turkey to imprison more journalists than any other country in the world. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 49 were behind bars as of December.’

  6. Brutus Iscariot 6

    The NZ Herald, who posted a selection cartoons including those lampooning Christian figures, but none of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that actually provoked the massacre. So much for solidarity.

    The Associated Press, who have (had) available an image of the “Piss Christ”, a urine soaked effigy of Christ on the cross, but will again not publish any cartoons with the image of Mohammed.

    I’m an atheist, but i abhor hypocrisy. I am free to be vilified by religious types for my non-belief and acknowledge that.

    We should not conflate religion with race. A religion is a human belief system, and thus should be open, as all human belief systems, politics etc, to criticism and indeed ridicule.

    • Paul 6.1

      The Herald just isn’t worth any energy discussing.
      It is entertainment not the 4th estate.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.2

      Those press outlets would never normally publish such disrespectful cartoons. Why would they change their normal standards because of terrorist action.

  7. Paul 7

    https://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/egypt#.VLMhtSuUdIE

    ‘Egypt declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to officially tolerated campaigns to intimidate journalists, increased efforts to prosecute reporters and commentators for insulting the political leadership or defaming religion, and intensified polarization of the pro– and anti–Muslim Brotherhood press, which reduced the availability of balanced coverage.’

  8. Anne 8

    19) Prime Minister Kopacz of Poland, which raided a magazine to seize recordings embarrassing for the ruling party http://en.rsf.org/poland-violating-confidentiality-of-20-06-2014,46487.html 


    Oops a daisy! There’s a little country down the bottom of the South Pacific wot has a PM and government that does the same sort of thing too. Whatsitsname now?

  9. weka 9

    A cartoon version of the tweets,

    Nous Sommes Hypocrites

    http://order-order.com/2015/01/12/richs-monday-morning-view-99/

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      At least 8 journalists were killed in Gaza by Israel in 2014, according to the Guardian – not 7 as the tweets inferred.

  10. johnm 10

    A collection of war criminals: Cameron and Sarkozi helped destroy Libya which now is enjoying a civil war. Netanyahu bombs women and children as collective punishment in Gaza. Poroshenko massacres with artillery and bombing and sniper fire Russian Ukrainians with the ok of Merkel and Hollande and Cameron. They are all part of the U$ Warshington hegemony system that finances and arms anti Assad fighters in Syria. The Hebdo killers learned their trade in Syria. Blowback anyone?

  11. Sable 11

    The kid forgot to mention the Cameron governments on going attempts to muzzle press freedoms and its often times absurd and highly dubious net censorship.

  12. SHG 12

    The politicians weren’t actually leading the protest march – the photos were taken at a staged photo op in a closed street surrounded by security, with extras added in to make sure there were heads and bodies behind the front row of politicians.
    e.g.

    https://twitter.com/borzou/status/554605138426736640/photo/1

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