Freedom of Speech Roundup

by    /  April 20, 2013  / No comments

Daily Show in China

Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, notes the program's surprise popularity on the Chinese web. Photo: via The Daily Show.

Is Political Satire Rising In China?

The Washington Post.The limits on Internet censorship in China are being tested. The Daily Show has recently seen high ratings in China and many satirical comments concerning the recent bird flu outbreaks on social media are hinting that comedy focusing on national politics is on the up. Read here.

Freedom of Speech in Turkey: A Secularist’s Lament; Journalists Go Online

The Economist. Over the past decade Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government has prosecuted and imprisoned an increasing number of journalists, academics, activists, and creatives. The charges commonly used against them include terrorism, “religious hatred,” and “insulting Turkishness.” Human rights activists and international journalists now question the role that democracy and secularism play in the country. Read here.

Al-Monitor. Turkey’s press and publishing houses are hounded by restrictions and threats from political authorities, the judiciary, and media moguls, but journalists and their readers are taking to the internet to express their views and share real-time coverage. Read here.

Attacks Choke Sri Lanka’s Press

Wall Street Journal. Tamil newspaper Uthayan, known for its criticism of the government, was recently attacked by armed men. The military denies any involvement, as does President Rajapaksa, but the paper has been targeted over 37 times and the government has yet to fully investigate any of the attacks. Read here.

Interview: Fred Hiatt, Author of Nine Days with Ti-Anna Wang

NPR. In Nine Days, a new young-adult novel, two high school students leave their home in Washington, D.C. for Hong Kong to find Ti-Anna’s father—a Chinese dissident and democracy activist who has gone missing. Though fiction, the book is based on a true story: The real-life Ti-Anna lives in Washington and her father is an imprisoned Chinese dissident and activist. Listen here.

Nigeria Bans Film on Oil Corruption

CPJ. The Nigerian government has recently banned the exhibition and distribution of Fuelling Poverty, a documentary on corruption in the state’s management of oil wealth, citing issues of national security. The film has been nominated for Best Documentary in the African Movie Academy Awards and its introduction is narrated by Wole Soyinka. Read here.

Trailer for “Fuelling Poverty” Video: YouTube via amateurheads.

Tunisian Journalists Tread with Caution

Al-Monitor. Now under a new government, Tunisia’s traditional and independent media have more freedom “than ever before” but reporting is still difficult: The press needs to be careful of religious topics and investigative journalism on government officials can land journalists in court for defamation. Read here.

Pulitzer Prize Winners for Photography Announced

SLR Lounge. The winners for 2013 Pulitzer Prizes in Photography were announced this week. The winners in both the Featured and Breaking News categories were individuals who covered the fighting in Syria from the front lines. Over 100 professional and citizen journalists have been killed in Syria since 2011. See the winning pictures here.

FOX Reporter Faces Jail Over Refusal to Identify Sources

NY Times. Jana Winter, an investigative reporter with has been taken to court for refusing to reveal the names of law enforcement officials she quoted in an article about the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting. Winter is facing potential prison time for contempt of court, a decision that has caused an outcry from civil liberties activists and fellow journalists. Read here.

Burundi: New Law Would Muzzle Journalists

Human Rights Watch. A new media law adopted on April 3 in Burundi will restrict the ability of journalists to cover events as well as undermine protection for sources and charge heavy fees for law violation. Many journalists fear the law’s stifling effects, especially with the upcoming 2015 election. Read here.

End of the Line: Silverchest by Carl Phillips

The New Yorker. Dan Chiasson reviews Silverchest, Carl Phillips’ newest book of poems, and calls him a candidate for “the author of the most interesting Contemporary English sentences.” In 2010 Phillips came to Pittsburgh as a Cave Canem fellow to teach young poets and perform the craft that Chiasson praises so highly. Read here.

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