11 August 2004
Volume 13 - 2004 Issue 32 (10 Aug. 2004)
The Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has struck down a defamation sentence against Costa Rican journalist Mauricio Herrera Ulloa, ruling that the Costa Rican government violated the American Convention on Human Rights. The decision is binding on Costa Rica and could have implications for other Latin American countries with criminal defamation laws.
Less than a week after radio broadcaster Roger Mariano was murdered by unknown assailants in the Philippines, a second journalist has been killed and another shot, prompting authorities to suggest that reporters carry firearms for protection, report IFEX members.
Expressing one's opinions over the Internet could become a much more risky activity in Iran if a proposed bill aimed at stamping out "nauseating content" becomes law, warns Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontierès, RSF).
Press freedom in Azerbaijan has deteriorated since the October 2003 presidential elections, marked by the government's refusal to prosecute police responsible for attacks on journalists, says a new report by Human Rights Watch.
In Moldova, the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) is raising concerns over the future of the country's state broadcaster, following protests by 100 staff who say the ruling Communist party is trying to prevent TeleRadio Moldova from becoming an independent news provider.
Zimbabwe's elections in March 2005 are unlikely to be free and fair as long as the government keeps a tight rein on the media, a fact-finding mission by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has concluded.
In Liberia, where years of brutal civil conflict have left the country's media in a fragile state, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) are working with journalists' associations and media development groups in Liberia to rebuild the infrastructure.
For fledging democracies or countries emerging from years of conflict, the role of the media in informing the public about important issues has been widely recognised as a vital one. During elections, that role becomes particularly challenging.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and Gender Links are launching a new award to recognise excellence in reporting on gender issues in the region. Open to journalists from countries belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community, including Seychelles, the Southern Africa Gender and Media Awards seek to reward stories that raise critical debate, show balance and challenge prevailing stereotypes.
Panos and the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) are inviting journalists to apply for the 2004 "Reporting on the Information Society" awards, which recognise incisive reporting on the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on society.