20 August 2002
Volume 11 - 2002 Issue 33 (20 Aug. 2002)
The Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) has announced that it will hold its biennial conference in Sri Lanka in 2003. Hosted at the Trans Asia Hotel from 25-28 February in Colombo, the conference will cover a wide range of press-industry issues, including self-regulation, the future of newspapers, ethics and the law, and election media monitoring. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike is expected to attend as a speaker.
The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) is inviting nominations for the 2003 Golden Pen of Freedom Award, the annual prize which honours an individual or group for outstanding action in the cause of press freedom, reports RAP 21 (African Press Network for the 21st Century).
PEN Center USA West (PEN) has awarded its 2002 Freedom to Write Awards to the Ethiopian Free Journalists' Association (EFJA) and Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The awards are given annually to writers who have defended freedom of expression, produced work in the face of extreme adversity and fought against censorship.
International Media Support (IMS), a Danish organisation that provides rapid assistance to journalist groups in conflict areas, has recently issued a report recommending several initiatives to support freedom of expression in Sudan. Coming on the heels of a 2-11 June mission to the country, the report notes four areas where IMS will undertake initiatives.
ARTICLE 19 is planning to hold a seminar in Belarus next month on the role of the media in local elections. Held jointly with the Council of Europe and the Belarussian Journalists Association, the seminar will take place in Minsk from 26-27 September. It will introduce local journalists to freedom-of-expression principles and international standards regarding election reporting.
For a country only recently emerging from years of brutal civil war, Sierra Leone's media have come a long way? and still have a long way to go, according to a special report released last week by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The organisation visited the country in May 2002 to assess the state of relations between government and the media, and how the press covered the recent elections.
Journalists in Venezuela are being used as ammunition in the increasingly polarised conflict between President ChÃ¡vez and the private media, according to a report released last week by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Based on more than a dozen interviews CPJ conducted in May with Venezuelan journalists, the report documents the growing trend of journalists who find themselves victims in a war of words between ChÃ¡vez and media owners who have become ardent opponents of the president.
Media concentration in Turkey, a country where three companies dominate the press, is under heavier scrutiny this week following the release of an International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report demanding legal changes to protect press freedom. "The balance of power in the Turkish media industry is heavily weighted in favour of ruthless employers in a country where media concentration has reached intolerable levels," says IFJ.
The Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development, set for 26 August to 4 September, will become a mere "gigantic talking shop" unless there is a new commitment to press freedom and democracy, warns the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).